Star turnout for king’s speech

2011-02-22 00:00

“IT’S my second time seeing the king and I’m really excited to see him again. It is such an honour for me to be here. And I’m so proud to be Zulu.”

These were the excited words of a security guard stationed at the official opening of the KZN Legislature yesterday.

Politicians thronged the Royal Showgrounds in all their finery. King Goodwill Zwelithini wore traditional dress and delivered his speech in isiZulu in honour of International Mother-tongue Day.

Also excited to be part of the event were school pupils.

Ndumiso Mkhize, a Grade 11 pupil at Eastwood Secondary School, said: “I really didn’t expect this. I’m so happy to be part of the event. I’m so glad that I saw all these business people and the car I’d like to drive one day.”

There were plenty of smart cars and fancy clothes on display

The king arrived in a black Land Cruiser and was welcomed by imbongi Buzetsheni Mdletshe, who poured praises on his majesty and past Zulu kings.

The event attracted about 1 500 VIP guests, 900 members of the public and 320 officials.

The VIPs included Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele, former premier and current Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele, the first KZN premier, Dr Frank Mdlalose, and President Jacob Zuma’s wife Nompumelelo MaNtuli.

The head of the Royal Household Department, Dr Vusi Shongwe, said he was touched by the king’s speech, especially when he spoke about the scarcity of skills in the nation, a challenge that he said requires greater attention.

Premier Zweli Mkhize will be giving the state of the province address at 10 am today at the same venue.

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