King Zwelithini plans year-long birthday bashes
All kingdoms across the nation will gather at the Enyokeni palace in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday to celebrate and honour the life of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini as he turns 70.
Traditional leaders from all corners of South Africa, business leaders and top government officials including President Cyril Ramaphosa, his deputy David Mabuza and former president Jacob Zuma are expected to grace the event.
The theme of this year's celebrations is to reflect on the king's journey through the seven decades he had been alive. He will also give his views on how he sees the Zulu nation currently and how he projects it to be in the next two centuries.
Spokesman for the royal family Prince Thulani Zwelithini said the king's mission together with his subjects was to create an economically viable kingdom and sustainable royal household.
Zwelithini said the plan was to have his birthday celebrations running throughout the year starting from Friday.
He said all celebrations ceremonies would be attached to seven palaces and every palace will be attached to a flagship project which the king will announce on Friday.
Zwelithini said the event will take place at two palaces with the first at Enyokeni palace that will include a parade by the police.
"Zulu regiments and maidens, royal guards, men and women will also be a part of the parade.
"Guests will be served lunch at the Enyokeni palace and the gala dinner will be held in the evening at the Linduzulu royal palace in Nongoma," he said.