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
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.