The late King Goodwill Zwelithini and businessman Ishwar Ramlutchman. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

Ishwar Ramlutchman who was given the name Prince Mabheka Zulu later became one of the close confidants of the late king and was given a symbolic traditional room to live in one of the palaces admired the life of the traditional king on Thursday.

 Remembering the late king on what would have been his 74th birthday, he said Covid-19 robbed the nation of an upright king who cared for his people and who was peace-loving.King Goodwill Zwelithini, the longest-serving Zulu monarch in history passed away on 12 March 2021 just as he was about to finish 50 years on the throne.He died after contracting Covid-19 in hospital where he was treated for a high level of glucose in his system. 

He was later succeeded by his son, King Misuzulu, after a bitter fight between factions that had names of different candidates.The late king is fondly remembered for fostering relationships between the Zulu and the Indian communities in KwaZulu-Natal by allowing those of the Hindu religion to host their Diwali festival in one of his palaces in Nongoma.In his tribute, Ramlutchman said the late king, who was the Honorary Patron of the Sivananda World Peace Foundation, was indeed a king of goodwill, like his name.

“We could never imagine life without His Majesty, today we sit back and look at His life and how he managed to foster good relations across the world. King Zwelithini Goodwill ka-Bhekuzulu, rest now in Peace, Great King of Africa. An alchemist of African greatness,” Ramlutchman said.Ramlutchman added that the late king was a visionary committed to the development of his people and country.

“His Majesty will be remembered as a much-loved, visionary monarch who made an important contribution to cultural identity, national unity and economic development in KZN and through this, to the development of our country as a whole.“Indeed, our King has been the most consistent voice and campaigner for peace and unity in South Africa and the world at large,” he added.

According to Ramlutchman, when people wanted to use the Zulu nation to start a war, the late king chose peace.“It must be said amidst the sinister forces that sought to formant war and mayhem amongst the Zulu people, His Majesty always stood on the side of those who strive for peace, stability, and prosperity of his people, ” Ramlutchman said.

Recommended by Meanwhile, one of the Zulu royal factions led by Prince Mbonisi Zulu and backing Prince Buzabazi and opposed to reigning King Misuzulu KaZwelithini has called for the late king’s birthday to be observed nationally and on an annual basis as he has been a unifying figure in the Zulu nation.The faction held a press conference in Durban on Thursday to remember the second anniversary of the passing of the revered king and then made the call for a national celebration of his birthday.

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