Nongoma – The body of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu has finally arrived at KwaKhethomthandayo royal palace in Nongoma, marking his last journey to the place where he grew up.

The body of the king arrived at the palace at 4.30pm on Wednesday.

In a solemn procession that started from a mortuary in the central business district of the town of Nongoma to the palace, his body was escorted by Zulu regiments clad in full traditional Zulu regalia.

The journey from the mortuary to the palace took about two hours.

As the regiments who were singing traditional Zulu hymns escorted the body and moved slowly, people lined up along the main road leading to the palace, paying their last respects to their beloved king.

Minutes before the body arrived at the palace, everything came to a standstill and there was complete silence.

Before the convoy hit the last stretch of the road leading to the palace, a heavy downpour started.

The regiments and the people who convened around the palace were not undeterred as they welcomed the body.

They patiently waited while senior royals and the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation, performed some rituals.

Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / ANA

That ritual lasted for about 40 minutes and it was done behind a thick wall of Zulu regiments who were determined to keep the rituals out of the public eye.

Since the king’s burial would be secret and some rituals are kept private, an order was issued that all cameras, including those of news channels, be switched off with immediate effect.

Taking pictures and recording videos using cellphones was also banned and that was strictly enforced.

Back at the palace, after a few Zulu rituals, the king’s body was taken to a marquee where royals were waiting.

Outside that marquee maidens and women sang traditional songs and danced in a manner that spoke to the mourning process.

The late king passed away on Friday aged 72.

He would be buried in a private funeral on Wednesday midnight and a memorial service in his honour would be held on Thursday



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