The late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been honoured with a special official funeral by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In a statement, the Presidency said Zwelithini’s funeral would entail ceremonial elements provided by the South African National Defence Force.

“The president has also authorised that the national flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country from the morning of Saturday, 13 March 2021, until the evening of the funeral service,” the statement read.

Zwelithini passed on in the early hours of Friday morning. He was 73.

ALSO READ: Obituary: The life and times of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini

In a statement, the Zulu traditional Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said: “It is with the utmost grief that I inform the nation of the passing of his Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu.

“Tragically, while still in hospital, His Majesty’s health took a turn for the worse and he subsequently passed away in the early hours of this morning. On behalf of the royal family, we thank the nation for your continued prayers and support in this most difficult time.”

Buthelezi also announced that the king’s body would lie in state at Khethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal to allow the public to pay their respects.

Compiled by Neo Thale. Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde and Thapelo Lekabe

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