The Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, has described the death of AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu as a great loss to the institution of traditional leadership in the province.
In a statement, iNkosi uChiliza recounted that the king has been a pillar of strength for traditional leaders throughout the province, since his coronation in 1971.
He described the king as an advocate for peace and stability even during the most tumultuous and bloody periods in the province and also a source of wisdom for the institution of traditional leadership.
The king of AmaXhosa nation, Ahlangene Vulikhaya Sigcau, has sent his condolences to the AmaZulu nation.
King Ahlangene Sigcau, who is High Commissioner in Malawi, says the sad news is not only a blow to the AmaZulu nation, but to the AmaXhosa nation as well.
“The pain of the nation of AmaZulu is equally the pain of AmaXhosa. King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu passes on a time when his wisdom and experience as the longest-serving monarch was much needed as we seek to reposition the institution of traditional leadership at the epicentre of the daily lives of our people and the struggle they go through. His calm demeanor even at the height of provocation will be really missed. Khothama ngokuthula Silo Samabandla,” says the AmaXhosa king.
Zulu King’s body expected to lie in state from this afternoon:
‘King promoted unity’
The Ebuhleni faction of the Nazareth Baptist Church also known as the Shembe church, says King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu always promoted the preservation of culture and unity in the Zulu nation.
Ebuhleni faction spokesperson at the Church, Lizwi Ncwane, says whenever the king took the podium he always reminded them about the importance of unity and cultural practices.
“Each time the king had to take the podium he was very emphatic of the sustainability of African culture and origin as Zulu people, either being Zulu, Xhosa or Venda. He was very impressed that some of the crucial elements of the Zulu are still being sustained within the spirit of ubuNazaretha.
We will also recall that each time when he talks to us he was very emphatic that we must keep unity as the original of AmaZulu, united and make sure that each time when there are differences, we don’t facilitate quarrels amongst the people,” says Ncwane.
King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu passed away from COVID-19 complications in a Durban hospital. He was 72.
The king was admitted to ICU in hospital last month for diabetes.