Durban - The late former leader of the Zulu regiments, Mlandeni Mgilija Nhleko, who died on Monday, will be buried on Saturday just outside Nongoma, his family has confirmed.
Nhleko died while undergoing stress and spinal cord cancer care at a Richards Bay hospital. Prior to that, he was admitted to the state-owned St Benedict’s hospital in Nongoma but could not be helped, which forced his family to seek medical care elsewhere.
Family spokesperson Seth Nhleko said the funeral proceedings will take place at Nhlalangwenya village a few kilometres outside Nongoma, north of KwaZulu-Natal.
“The family met and decided that he should be buried this Saturday and the proceedings will start at 9am,” Seth Nhleko said.
Since the late Nhleko shot to prominence by leading regiments during prominent Zulu cultural events attended and presided over by the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, Seth Nhleko said segments of regiments from all over the province have confirmed that they would come to bid Nhleko their last goodbyes.
“We expect regiments from Ulundi led by Induna Sipho Mhlongo to come to the funeral. We also expect other regiments from Mkhambathini, Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg (hostels), eThekwini, Pongola and Mahlabathini to come to the funeral,” said Seth Nhleko.
Beyond that, Nhleko also made a name for himself when he meticulously commanded a legion of Zulu regiments during the burial of the late Zulu King Zwelithini in March this year.
The regiment’s colourful display of Zulu culture started when they escorted the body of the late King out of King Edward hospital in Durban, attracting public attention, with people saying the Zulu culture was still intact.
He was later axed in his position after he showed support for former President Jacob Zuma, just days after he was sentenced to imprisonment by the Constitutional Court.
IOL also reported in July that the firing of Nhleko as the leader of the regiments, Dr Dumisani Khumalo, the chairperson of the Osuthu royal council, alleged that Nhleko had rudely exchanged words with the late king.
He was also caught on video saying he did not recognise the current king Misuzulu.