Presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa kicked off his final campaign in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday by paying homage to King Goodwill Zwelithini where he presented him with one of his own African long-horned Watusi cattle from his farm.
The king in turn presented a beaming Ramaphosa with a Nguni hide battle shield.
The media was not allowed at eNyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma‚ north of KwaZulu-Natal where Ramaphosa’s visit to the Zulu monarch coincided with the visit of the Ebuhleni faction of the Shembe Baptist Church for the denomination’s annual royal pilgrimage.
It is understood‚ but not confirmed by Ramaphosa campaigners‚ that he got blessings from the Ebuhleni leader Mduduzi “Nyazilwezulu” Shembe who prayed for him to ascend to the ANC presidency in May this year.
The Shembe clergy had also urged Ramaphosa to revisit the church before the December national conference saying they had also prayed for President Jacob Zuma’s presidential ambitions which came to fruition a decade ago.
CR17 spokesman Sithembiso Mshengu confirmed that Ramaphosa visited the king but said the Shembe church’s presence was just a coincidence.
“The deputy president is here in Nongoma and Jozini to address send-off rallies. Yes he is currently meeting with the His Majesty and is accompanied by Mike Mabuyakhulu‚” he said.