The Zulu royal family has confirmed the recently named new Zulu king, Misuzulu ka-Zwelithini, was too stricken with flu to deliver his maiden Heritage Day speech in KwaDukuza on Friday.
The date is of special significance to the Zulu nation, as it was previously known as Shaka Day in commemoration of the father of the Zulu nation, King Shaka kaSenzangakhona, who died on 24 September 1828, according to some accounts.
The speech was read by Prince Thulani Zulu, and it touched on several matters, including that the Amakhosi should be wary of a “third force” seeking to divide the nation.
The king is yet to be inaugurated due to family infighting about who should actually inherit the throne. His parents died within weeks of one another due to Covid, which the king also touched on in his speech. He made it clear that the Zulu royal house should not be considered weak after the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini.
“I wish that we come together stronger than we ever have, with all Amakhosi, and not allow enemies to divide us,” reported TimesLIVE.
“Even though we work hand in hand with government, it’s important we don’t forget that royalty is of the nation and if it is compromised it will be in our hands,” he said.
The king encouraged his people to carry themselves “with dignity and respect … as the descendants of Shaka”.
He also called on men to desist from abusing women and children.
Prince Zulu told the SABC that the ailing king attended the event because of how significant it is, despite having been hospitalised only the previous day with “heavy flu”. He was given medical advice not to talk or stand for too long.
He added that the king would have felt “ashamed” to not attend.
– Compiled by Charles Cilliers