Nongoma – Still reeling from the shocking assassination of senior Zulu Prince Mbongiseni Milton Muntakaphiwana, King Misuzulu on Sunday skipped the second day of the Shembe church’s ceremony to privately mourn his loss.
King Misuzulu was billed to be the main speaker on the second day of the 9th annual Royal Sabbath and Umgidi ceremony at the sacred eNyokeni palace in Nongoma.
However, he did not come, leaving the church’s members in the presence of their leader, His Holiness Mduduzi “Nyazilwezulu” Shembe, who sat throughout the day.
The annual ceremony is held at the palace to foster reconciliation between the traditional African church and the monarch following a fallout in 2010.
This was when the late King Goodwill Zwelithini was barred from seeing the late His Holiness Vimbeni “Uthingolwenkosanza” Shembe on his deathbed.
The two-day ceremony started on Saturday with over 20 000 members of the church painting the lawns and the arena of the palace white.
The main sermon on Saturday came from his holiness Shembe who pleaded with members to end gender-based violence.
The king, despite being present in the arena on Saturday, did not speak and the platform was given to Prince Philemon of the KwaFihlinqindi royal house, an elder in the Zulu royal family.
The elderly prince said the king was too devastated following the assassination of Prince Mbongiseni on Thursday evening in Nongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
He said the king would speak on Sunday as he was still in mourning following the shocking killing that left the royal house on edge.
But the king did not show up on Sunday, even though royal elders were in attendance and they left without hearing the king speak.
Prince Thulani told the media that the king is still mourning and even his attendance on Saturday was under difficult conditions and out of respect for the church.
“The whole ceremony went well, however, because we had an unfortunate incident before it took place, our spirits are down.
“When there is a tragedy like this one, the king does not move around and he is always confined to his palace.
“He only goes out after the funeral to mourn the tragedy. This ceremony came at a time when we were still in mourning.
“Even yesterday you might have noticed that the king was devastated following the tragedy.
“He came here because he respects the Nazareth (Baptist Church),” Prince Thulani told IOL on the sidelines of the ceremony.
It is not yet known when the slain senior prince, who was close to the king and served as an IFP councillor in the Zululand District Municipality at the time of his killing, would be laid to rest.
Traditional dancing by various groupings of men, women and maidens was the major entertainment of the day.
At about 4pm, they dispersed to their homes across the country, with blessings from the church leader.