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A huge tree has fallen – South Africa’s President

Zulu king buried as mourners pay tribute at memorial

A huge tree has fallen – Zulu king

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid

tribute to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini at a

memorial held after the 71-year-old was buried at

a private ceremony in the early hours of Thursday.

“A huge tree has fallen,” Mr Ramaphosa said.

“Moral courage was one of his noblest virtues,” he added.

Mr Ramaphosa gave the eulogy in a white tent erected

outside one of the palaces of the king in the small town of

Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal. The palace has been a beehive of

activity, with mourners streaming in to pay their respects,

reports from the BBC‘s Pumza Fihlani from the scene.

Many have come bearing gifts in the form of cows,

some of which will be slaughtered and shared with the

community, she adds. King Zwelithini, the longest reigning

Zulu monarch died in hospital last week from diabetes

related issues.

A huge tree has fallen
the people of Zulu mourns Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini
The burial ceremony was only attended by a select

group of royal men. The secrecy around the burial is

part of honouring the monarch, our reporter says.

It is not yet clear who will succeed King Zwelithini

that is a closely guarded secret, in part for the future

king’s safety but also in reverence to the moment at hand, she adds.

People at the memorial said they were clear on the

kind of king they want   a visionary, a straight-talker

(like Zwelithini), and someone who will honour their

culture and set it as the guiding light for future

generations, our reporter says.


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