Subjects must foot bill for next birthday bash
DESPITE a massive budget allocation in excess of R50 million annually, King Goodwill Zwelithini has complained that the Zulu royal household remains one of the poorest in the country.
He was speaking at a glittering gala dinner as part of his 69th birthday celebrations in which he was showered with gifts including expensive wine, several head of cattle and horses.
High-profile guests at the dinner included South African Air Force chief Lieutenant-General Fabian Msimang, renowned American pastor Bishop Justice Jones of Global Justice Ministries, businessman Vivian Reddy, TV personality Sindi Mabe and Duma Ndlovu the creator of TV soapie Muvhango.
He, however, announced that he wants an even bigger celebration next year to mark his 70th birthday.
Speaking at his LinduZulu palace in Nongoma, the monarch said his subjects would foot the bill for the 70th bash as they were lucky to have him as he plays a very important part in the life of the Zulu nation. It is also through him that God spoke to the nation, he claimed. “Sometimes when I speak, it is not me but someone is speaking through me. I am being commanded and I have to cough it out whether you like it or not.”
He said he played an important intermediary role between God and his subjects and in some cases God speaks to him and tells him to pray for certain people or lay his hands on them so that they can be healed. “Even my birth was very different, it was prophesied,” he said, adding that some had predicted that he was not going to live beyond 1994.
The king also revealed his intentions to build a church in Nongoma where he can pray on behalf of the nation. But to achieve this, he will need donations.
He asked his subjects to be generous, saying the church was foretold by his grandfather. “My grandfather said the church will be called KwaNhliziyonye (the place of one heart)”.
The king’s brother, Thulani Zulu said the proposed site for the church is in Nongoma near the Dlamahlahla palace. He said this will be a place where people of different denominations gather occasionally to pray.
Saturday’s event was characterised by pomp and ceremony which included parades by members of the SA National Defence Force, song and dance by Zulu warriors with maidens clad in traditional attire.
The king is credited with living longer than all his predecessors and is the longest-ruling king of the Zulu nation.
“The nation has never been this blessed… I am as fit as a fiddle, I do not have any ailments. The whole nation is very lucky,” he said.
IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the nation was lucky to have had the king leading it for the past four decades.
BIRTHDAY BASH: King Goodwill Zwelethini