Sub­jects must foot bill for next birth­day bash

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BHEKI MBANJWA

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

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