Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

In a show of support, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini says incoming KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize is the "chosen one" to lead the province.

Speaking at the premier's inauguration dinner on Monday night, Zwelithini told the gathering of more than 2500 guests that he supported Mkhize, who had a track record of "delivery".

Zwelithini said the appointment of Mkhize happens at a time "when we are blessed with opportunities to be part of the beautiful things happening in South Africa".

Quoting late US President John F Kennedy, Zwelithini said the challenge for Mkhize, his cabinet and the people of the province, was not to "ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country".

He urged the leaders in the new cabinet and the people of the province to support Mkhize.

He said support for Mkhize's leadership will bear the fruits of "peace and tranquility and a future that we can be proud of".

He said this was not the first time that "something wonderful has happened to Mkhize".

"Mkhize is known for his intelligence, dedication to the cause of the nation, resilience, loyalty and forward looking policies and actions."

He encouraged Mkhize to use his background as a medical doctor to uplift the lives of ordinary people.

He said he was comfortable in knowing that the "province was in safe hands" and being led by a "progressive mind".

He said he hoped Mkhize's cabinet was made up of people "who shared his (Mkhize's) dream" and not by those "not satisfied that they have arrived".

Zwelithini called on chiefs in the province to unite and embrace progress, saying they had a responsibility to protect their people.