Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ceremony for the handover of the certificate of recognition to His Majesty King Misizulu ka-Zwelethini, Moses Mabhida Stadium, eThekwini:
His Majesty King Misizulu kaZwelithini,
Bayede! Hlanga lomhlabathi!
His Majesty King Mswati III,
Your Majesties Kings and Queens,
Former President Thabo Mbeki,
Former President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma,
Deputy President David Dabede Mabuza,
Zonke Izingonyama ezihambele lomcimbi
Abantwana beNdlunkulu kaZulu
Inkosi uButhelezi nawo wonke amaKhosi akhona
Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula,
Bonke abaphathiswa bakaHulumeni, beholwa uMinister wezokubuswa ngokuhlanganyela nokwezendabuko Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma no Ndunankulu wesifundazwe uMs Nomusa Dube-Ncube,
Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Amos Masondo,
Acting Judge President Isaac Madondo and other Members of the judiciary,
Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Dr Thabo Makgoba,
Members of Parliament and of Provincial Legislatures,
Chairpersons of the National and Provincial Houses of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders,
President of Contralesa Kgoshi Mathupa Mokoena and other Contralesa leaders,
Leaders of the governing party in KwaZulu-Natal, the African National Congress, and leaders of other political parties,
Leaders of non-governmental organisations,
Members of the diplomatic corps,
Our artists, performers and entertainers who are part of today’s programme,
All foreign dignitaries present,
Isizwe sonke sikaZulu nabo bonke abantu bezwe kazi iAfrica,
Amabutho, izintombi nezinsizwa ezilapha nezibukele emakhaya
Nalabo abangekho lapha, abofowethu nodadewethu bebandla lamaNazaretha, abangcina iSabatha.
Fellow South Africans,
Sanibonani. Ngiyanibingelela Zulu, nina beSilo, sizwe sika Phunga noMabega, sizwe sika Ndaba.
Kuyintokozo enkulu kumina ukuba lapha namhlanje.
Namhlanje Usuku lwenjabulo nokugubha isizwe samaZulu. Usuku lokuthula. Usuku lokubumbana, sihlangane ndawonye sikhumbula ukuthi singobani.
Namhlanje, wonke amakhosi amakhulu AmaZulu nawo anathi lapha.
Ngisho onke amakhosi kaZulu oSenzangakhona, iLembe eleqa amanye amalembe ngokukhalipha, uDingane, Uvenvane luka Phunga noMageba, uMpande, uCetshwayo, uDinizulu, bonke okhokho bakho Hlanga Lomhlabathi, bakhona namhlanje, all your ancestors your Majesty are here.
As we reflect on this historic moment for AmaZulu, for KwaZulu-Natal, for our country and for our continent, we recall the words from the epic poem ‘Emperor Shaka the Great’ by usolwazi uMasizi Kunene.
“Only through our knowledge of our great past
Can we acquire courage and wisdom.”
Over many centuries, this brave nation stood firm against foreign invaders.
Here in KwaZulu-Natal, on the plains of Isandlwana 143 years ago, AmaZulu waged an epic battle in defence of their land and their freedom.
It is a history of which the people of this province and our entire continent can be proud.
And today we are here to witness a new epoch in the history of AmaZulu.
As President of the Republic, I am here to hand over the certificate of recognition to His Majesty, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.
I do so to fulfil my duty under our Constitution, which affirms the role of our kings and queens.
I am here to commit my government to working with His Majesty to change the lives of our people and to transform our rural areas into places of development and prosperity.
I do so to recognise that our traditional leaders are the custodians of the cultures, customs and traditions that make us who we are.
Today is a great day.
It is also a blessed day.
We pray that His Majesty’s reign will a long and glorious one.
May your hand be guided by the Almighty.
May your rule be one of justice, compassion, peace and unity.
Your Majesty, Hlanga Lomhlabathi,
Your people look to you to lead them to a bright, glorious new future.
It is a heavy responsibility, but also an illustrious one.
I borrow once more the words from the poem ‘Emperor Shaka the Great’:
“He, Emperor Shaka would say: on my right is the nation,
On my left are my clansmen,
This is the bond that binds us together.”
Your Majesty, you are the bond that binds the Amazulu nation together.
You are the latest in a long line of great kings that have seen many challenges across the centuries.
And today we are also faced with many difficulties.
Ngonyaka odlule silahlekelwe iSilo Samabandla, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, uBhejane ePhum’esisiqiwini who led his people with dedication and integrity.
We also lost Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu soon thereafter.
Millions of our people are unemployed and live in poverty.
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Substance abuse, crime and the abuse of women, children and the elderly are devastating our communities.
Many of our rural areas suffer from poor services and lack of jobs.
Land reform remains a huge problem.
As government at local, provincial and national level, we continue to make several interventions to address all these challenges and will want to rely on you, Your Majesty, to work with us to address the problems that our people are facing on a daily basis.
In you, we have a leader who enjoys the respect and confidence of the people.
A leader who takes responsibility for their decisions is trusted by the people.
A leader that governs with compassion and kindness, especially to the most vulnerable, is loved.
You have picked up the mighty spear that has fallen.
May your steady hand guide and bring stability to the kingship of Amazulu.
I have no doubt that with the support of the Royal Family you will lead the process to unite the community and all abaNtwana baseNdlunkulu.
Under your wise leadership may the Kingdom reach new heights of development, progress, and peace.