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    NewsSouth AfricaSouth Africa prepares to bid farewell to Zulu King Zwelithini

    South Africa prepares to bid farewell to Zulu King Zwelithini

    South Africa is finalizing Saturday the preparations for the farewell of the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died early the day before at the age of 72, while waiting for the authorities to finalize the date of his funeral, hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The monarch of the country’s main ethnic group and considered a highly influential figure in national politics, died in KwaZulu-Natal hospital, where he was admitted last week for diabetes problems, aggravated by the coronavirus.

    In a statement, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarchy, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, explained that COVID-19 regulations will almost certainly prevent the holding of a state funeral, as he had been promised by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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    “Unfortunately, however, we are faced with the reality that South Africa and the world remain in the grip of a deadly pandemic. Existing national regulations, which restrict the number of people who can gather, cannot be breached, even at a time of extreme distress,” he told South African broadcaster SABC.

    “It would be inconceivable to allow Her Majesty’s passing to become the cause of further deaths among Her Majesty’s people. I therefore appeal, on behalf of the family, for mourners not to travel to Nongoma to pay their respects. It is vital that we avoid crowds building up at this time, as this would endanger lives,” he added.

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    Despite the obstacles, the Zulu prince has assured that the funeral ceremony will be broadcast live.

    King Zwelithini was a direct descendant of King Cetshwayo, who led the Zulu nation during the war with the British in 1879. Throughout his 50-year reign, he was a strong advocate for the preservation of cultural identity. He revived many cultural practices, including Umhlanga, also known as the reed dance ceremony.

    Considered by some as a patriarchal exercise, the ceremony is said to be aimed at celebrating virginity among girls and young women and raising awareness about AIDS, an endemic disease in the South African country.

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    Robert David
    Robert Davidhttps://awutar.com/author/robert/
    Robert David is a journalist of Awutar. If you want to get in touch with him write via: [email protected]

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