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Adviser to South African king shot dead

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Sep 19, 2022 - 02:05 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – The new ruler of South Africa’s Zulu kingdom, the largest ethnic group in the country, has condemned the assassination of his adviser, who was gunned down Saturday night.

King Misuzulu kaZwelithini told thousands of people who attended the closing ceremony of the annual Zulu reed dance Sunday that his heart is bleeding following the killing of Dumisani Khumalo.

“The killers should not rest, as the authorities are hot on their heels and they will be brought to book,” he said.

Khumalo was gunned down by unknown assailants after attending the annual reed dance in Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

A faction within the Zulu kingdom opposed to King kaZwelithini’s ascendance to the throne following his father’s death is suspected of playing a part in Khumalo’s killng after it issued threats of a bloodbath should the annual reed dance be held.

Thousands of young girls present themselves to the king carrying reeds during the event aimed at celebrating a young girl’s purity while preparing her for womanhood.

The event also promotes celibacy before marriage.

The Zulu ethnic group accounts for 11 million people out of South Africa’s population of 60.6 million.

The Department of Traditional Affairs in the Kwazulu-Natal provincial government said in a statement Sunday that it was equally saddened by Khumalo’s murder.

“We wish to convey our condolences and call upon law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of the criminals that are responsible for this act of cowardice,” it said.

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