Durban – The government led by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelethini who elbowed his brother, Prince Simakade, to take over the throne in May last year, is a treasured figure in the province.
On Friday, the King, first-born son of King Goodwill Zwelithini and his late great wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, who was born on 23 September 1974 at Hlabisa hospital in northern KwaZulu-Natal turned 48.
However, there were no high-profile celebrations billed for him to celebrate the day except for one low-key event at Ohlange high school in Durban where he was represented by his wife, Queen Ntokozo Mayisela-Zulu.
The Queen who is involved in initiatives to fight gender-based violence, handed gifts to pupils and motivated them ahead of their final exams towards the end of the year.
“On behalf of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, today we are elated to witness the birthday anniversary of our dear King Misuzulu kaZwelithini on this historic day in the life of our nation.
“His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini is our present link to a revered long and illustrious line of the royal dynasty which has led and guided our nation in many challenging times.
“As history reminds us so eloquently, as soon as the sun sets, it rises again to ensure that there is constant light in the world, even when some can no longer see it through the naked eye,” the provincial government said in a statement.
It once again pledged that it will support the King and the royal household.
“The provincial government regards the Royal Family, the institution of traditional leadership as essential to the attainment of social cohesion and nation building, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Our government therefore pledges to continue to support the programme and the vision of His Majesty as we address all the current challenges facing the nation.”
Other birthday wishes came from the Ulundi local municipality and the Zululand district municipality, both in the north of the province.
On Saturday the King is expected to address throngs of Zulu men and women at KwaDukuza (Stanger) in the north of Durban during the celebration of the annual King Shaka’s day.The commemoration is held in honour of the legendary King Shaka Zulu, the founder of the modern-day Zulu nation.
Meanwhile, the King’s right-hand man, Dr Dumisani Khumalo, the chairperson of the powerful Osuthu royal council who was assassinated last Saturday after returning from the reed dance which took place at eNyokeni palace, was buried on Friday after a church service held at Mtashana FET college in Nongoma.
Since the King is barred by culture from attending funerals, he sent his traditional prime minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to represent him.
Buthelezi sent his son, Prince Zuzifa Buthelezi, since he cannot be next to the King on Saturday after attending a funeral.
In a message delivered by Prince Zuzifa, Buthelezi said in Khumalo, the monarch and the Zulu nation have “lost a great source of wisdom and an advisor of utmost integrity”.
He said it was hoped that as King Misuzulu is settling on the throne he was going to be advised and served by the same counsel that served his late father, King Goodwill Zwelithini.