THE late AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuZulu was described as ‘a loving, respectful leader’, in a memorial service at the Empangeni Civic Centre last Thursday. The celebration of the monarch’s life and deeds was organised by the Sivananda World Peace Foundation, led by Ishwar ‘Mabheka Zulu’ Ramlutchman.

The service was attended by, among others, Prince of KwaPhindangene – Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, chairperson of KZN Traditional Leaders – Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, Prince Thulani Zulu, the Ndwandwe family – where King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu was born, uMhlathuze Mayor Xolani Ngwezi, King Cetshwayo District Mayor Thami Ntuli and uMfolozi Mayor Xolani Bhengu. Addressing the dignitaries during the prayer service, Mayor Ngwezi said the late king was one of the leaders who was at the forefront of the fight for economic development in the City of uMhlathuze and the province as a whole.

‘As the new leadership, we will do everything in our power to protect this city, and we want it to be a city that is open to all,’ Ngwezi said.

He also revealed that council was working with the Sivananda World Peace Foundation to unveil a statue of the late king, which will be erected at the council building in Richards Bay. The host, Ishwar Ramlutchman, said he had learned a lot from the late king, including respecting, loving, and not undermining people. 

‘The king was a peace-loving leader who cared for his subjects. Thank you for coming out to this prayer assembly where we remember and celebrate our king,’ said Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu.

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