Zulu regiments leader induna Zihogo ’Mgilija“ Nhleko has been hospitalised for flu.
Zulu regiments leader induna Zihogo ’Mgilija“ Nhleko has been hospitalised for flu.

Zulu regiments leader Mgilija hospitalised

By Willem Phungula Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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DURBAN - POPULAR Zulu regiments leader, Zihogo “Mgilija” Nhleko has been admitted to hospital for a flu bug.

His family told the Daily News on Sunday that the induna was admitted to the Richards Bay hospital two weeks ago.

A relative, who answered Nhleko’s cellphone, refused to give further details. The woman also refused to give her name, saying she was not authorised to speak to the media.

Nhleko publicly supported the National Freedom Party (NFP). The party’s secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe said he was also informed by the family about Nhleko’s illness, adding that the family also did not want to reveal more details about his illness except that it was flu.

Mdletshe said that Nhleko’s illness was a blow to the party because it had planned to use his popularity during the election campaign.

“We wish him a speedy recovery. We are very much disturbed by his absence in our election campaign. If you have seen our campaign trail programme you would see that he was featured in our celebrity list whom we were going to use as drawcards for votes,” said Mdletshe.

Phumlani Mfeka, who is the leader of the organisation called Injeje yabaNguni, also wished Nhleko a speedy recovery.

He said that the induna was a source of inspiration and pride of African culture to young boys who looked up to him, adding that young boys were waiting to meet him in person when at traditional ceremonies.

Mfeka’s organisation supported Nhleko during the backlash he received for taking amabutho to Nkandla to support former president Jacob Zuma.

Zulu royal spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu said he had been unaware that Nhleko had been hospitalised.

“I knew he was once hospitalised a few months ago but I did not know that he had gone to hospital again.”

The Daily News also learnt that Nhleko became unwell after the July unrest and was hospitalised for an undisclosed illness.

Although Nhleko has been a commander of the amabutho for years, he shot to prominence after leading regiments during the planting of the late Zulu King Zwelithini in March this year.

He led amabutho defying Covid-19 protocols when the country was at stage 5, despite warnings from the Zulu nation traditional prime minister Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi who had issued a warning to amabutho to observe Covid-19 regulations.

Nhleko again clashed with Buthelezi by attending a washing of spears cleansing ceremony for the late king. Nhleko had been warned not to attend the ceremony because the king was not going to attend.

He also led amabutho to Nkandla to support Zuma during his imminent arrest in July. He was subsequently removed as regiments leader but has since reconciled with the king after he apologised.

Daily News

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