The remains of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu have arrived in Kwakhethomthandayo royal palace, after scores of maidens, regiments, and the general public braved the rainy weather as his body was fetched from the mortuary.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has accorded the king a special official funeral, category 1, and the official ceremony during which the king will be planted will take place in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The ceremony will be attended by men only, as per his wishes.

Zwelitheni passed away on Friday morning after a long battle with diabetes.

An official memorial service will be held later on Thursday, where President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the eulogy.

The special official state funeral will contain ceremonial elements overseen by the South African National Defence Force.

WATCH: No Covid-19 compliance as Zulu king’s remains fetched from mortuary

Ramaphosa has also authorised that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country, which has happened since Saturday and will continue until the evening of the funeral service.

It is understood that after the funeral the king’s lawyers will summon the royal house into a meeting where his will is to be read, according to an announcement made by royal Prime Minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Tuesday.

He could not confirm whether the will would also reveal who is to succeed the King, and said that he had never spoken to the King about succession issues.

“If I said anything, it would be irresponsible, I’m just like you. I do not know anything and I will have to wait until the will is read,” said Buthelezi.

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