His Majesty King Goodwill ZwelithinikaBhekuzulu;
Premier of KwaZulu-Natal,
Dr. Zweli Mkhize;
MECs present today;
Mayor of the eThekwini CouncillorObed Mlaba;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Bayede, Hlanga Lomhlabathi!
It is with a great sense of pride that I stand before you today, to be part of this significant historic occasion.
This is a day that sees the fulfillment of a long-held dream by His Majesty, King Goodwill ka Bhekuzulu, of witnessing a dignified burial of his late mother, Indlovukazi YesilouCyprian kaBhekuzulu, u Ndlunkulu uThomozile Jezangani, umaNdwandwe.
His Majesty could not have chosen a more appropriate day for this important function, on Motherís Day, to teach us all the importance of our mothers and women in our society.
Mothers are the pillars of our society, they are the rock upon which families are founded, and they are the thread that holds our families, communities and societies together.
It is not surprising that His Majesty could not rest until he found Indlovukaziís temporary resting place, so that her dignity and her place in history could be restored.
We realize that not knowing where His Majestyís late motherís remains lay buried must have been a disturbing experience for Isilo sama Bandla.
The recovery of her remains has brought closure not only to his Majesty but to the Royal family and the entire Zulu nation.
ISilo Sama Bandla has throughout his quest in achieving this displayed an admirable persistence and fortitude to see the proud heritage of the Royal House restored to its rightful place.
We are proud to have been part of this process.
It is a well documented fact that from the time the King first made the request for government to assist in finding the remains of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, no effort was spared by the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality Councillor Obed Mlaba and other stakeholders in fulfilling his wishes.
It took a painstaking process to carefully go through the archives of the Municipality to find the name of the Queen Mother and to eventually find her remains.
It is to His Majestyís credit that he had the tenacity and patience to wait for all due legal processes to be followed in identifying and certifying the identity of the late Queen Mother.
As we lay the remains of the Queen Mother, we are grateful to His Majesty for giving his consent that she be laid in her final resting place within the eThekwini Municipality which will have an immense contribution to the cityís rich cultural heritage.
It is also fitting that the Queen Motherís remains be laid to rest here as she also lived in Cato Manor during her last days and this contributes to the historic significance of this location.
The government, through the eThekwini Municipality, has undertaken to establish an interactive cultural museum and heritage centre,with the aim of acknowledging and celebrating the role played by the Zulu Monarchy in the countryís liberation struggle.
It also acknowledges the role of the Royal Family in achieving peace in the province and the country as a whole, as its subjects are spread throughout the country.
This includes, but is not limited to ending the war between Zulus and the Indian community in Durban in 1949.
This centre will be linked to associated commercial, retail and other complementary activities under the Cultural Renaissance Programme of the eThekwini Municipality.
It is an important investment in the countryís history and heritage and also will no doubt earn revenue in future through tourism and other economic activities.
South Africa has a very wealthy history that is only now being appreciated for its complexity and diversity.
Todayís ceremony is in line with our policy of celebrating our rich cultural heritage and respecting the importance of burying our people in a dignified manner.
We are building on a tradition we started some time back.
The democratic government brought back the remains of King SabataDalindyebo and ensured a proper burial and restoration of his place in the history of the people of the Eastern Cape and the struggle for liberation.
We also returned the skull of King Hintsa of the Eastern Cape back to our country, a befitting action for a national hero well-known for his tenacious fight against colonialism.
Another seminal restoration of our heritage was the return of the remains and reburial of Ms Sarah Baartman, thereby correcting a painful chapter of colonialism which included the degradation and humiliation of black women.
This weekend also saw the unveiling of the memorial of the Cradock 4, the national heroes who were killed brutally by the apartheid police during the 80s in the Eastern Cape Province.
The unveiling of that monument of Sparrow Mkhonto, Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata and Sicelo Mhlawuli by the Minister of Arts and Culture restored dignity to the four outstanding leaders who gave their lives for freedom.
All these are significant occurrences in our history.
Slowly, but surely, we are restoring human dignity and erasing the pain caused by colonialism and apartheid oppression.
We are also mainstreaming heritage that had been marginalized, heritage that was seen to belong in township corners or where a black person lived, and was never regarded as important by the mainstream or privileged sectors of South African society.
This revived post-apartheid, democratic era heritage should be used as the foundation on which torebuild our new society.
Centres such as the one being built in Durban will help us to achieve such a goal.
We can only hope that the future generations will use such centres in a bid to continue in the path that has been set by those before them.
They must use these centres and memorials so as to keep our heritage and identity alive. It is these origins that will determine where we are going in the future.
For this we are grateful to His Majesty, the King for encouraging us in that direction.
Bayede, Silo Samabandla!
You are playing your role very well Your Majesty to promote the maintenance of traditions and customs in the Zulu Kingdom.
You also promote peace, reconciliation and unity.
This province has known too much conflict.
From the wars of conquest and against colonization, to the Indo- African conflict of 1949 in Durban and the internecine political war that took place in the late 80ís to the early 90ís, before we gained our freedom in 1994 Ė this province has indeed gone through enough wars and suffering.
It is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge the role played by His Majesty and the Royal House in achieving peace in the province.
We are also grateful for the Kingís leadership on many issues affecting our country, and His messages of peace that His Majesty has issued as we head for the local government elections on 18 May.
We join the King in calling for free and peaceful elections.
We reiterate the call for free political activity in all areas, made by Isilo to enable political parties to campaign everywhere they wish. We thank you for your leadership in this regard, Your Majesty.
Allow me to pay a special tribute to all South African mothers through the memory of Indlovukazi.
We thank mothers for the pivotal role they play in nurturing and strengthening families.
We also acknowledge your role in the reconstruction and development of our country.
Happy Motherís Day to all South African Mothers! And Happy Motherís Day indeed to Indlovukazi, our mother, who has found her final and dignified resting place.
It is a befitting gift to her from her people.
Lala ngoxolo uphumule Ndlovukazi yesizwe, usuze wayithola indawo yakho ekufanele esizweni sonke.
Bayede, Hlanga Lomhlabathi!
I thank you.