WATCH | Amabutho block gate outside royal palace, forcing some dignitaries to make a hasty exit
An improvised exit had to be arranged for dignitaries to leave the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday after disgruntled amabutho blocked the entrance to the palace where the official memorial service for King Goodwill Zwelithini was held.
After pleading for a last chance to sing for the late king, hundreds of amabutho were let into the royal palace.
An elder at the gate tried to reason with them that only the amakhosi would be allowed in, however they chanted, sang and danced and were adamant that they too belonged inside the palace as “strangers” (dignitaries) to the Zulu nation were allowed in.
Security had to create a temporary exit to allow dignitaries to leave the palace after the memorial service at which President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy. It was not confirmed whether Ramaphosa was one of the dignitaries who had to leave the palace via the improvised exit.
When the gate was opened there was no commotion and no-one tried to stop amabutho as they went through singing praise songs.
After the memorial service, the dignitaries left the marquee and the royal family were expected to hold a private family meeting, where the late king's will was expected to be read. It is understood that this meeting will outline the succession plan going forward.
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