In Zulu culture, the term ukutshalwa refers to the belief that a King never dies but that he is planted.
The 72-year-old Zulu monarch was buried in a secret funeral that started before midnight and was concluded in the early Thursday morning.
The location of the king’s grave remains a secret, only known to the royals and a few people who attended his burial which was held behind closed doors.
His memorial service is currently ongoing at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, with lots of dignitaries present including South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has hailed the fallen king as a “soldier in the war against gender-based violence.” Adding that, “In December last year, he signed a pledge to fight gender-based violence, child abuse and human trafficking.”
Th President said King Goodwill Zwelithini was a bridge builder between traditional communities as well, who believed that African kingships must unite to confront social ills in our society and conflict on the continent. “His Majesty worked to quell tensions between locals and foreign nationals.”
“His Majesty was a champion of development and progress. He advocated for better health outcomes among his people, leading from the front in the fight against HIV, AIDS and TB.” Ramaphosa said.
Police have been deployed to oversee the memorial ceremony and to ensure that COVID-19 regulations are followed.
The late king passed away on Friday aged 72, leaving behind six queens and 28 princes and princesses. He was on the throne for almost 50 years, making him the longest reigning monarch in the history of the 205-year-old nation.