Sunday Tribune

King Misuzulu on the throne

Litigation contesting late King Zwelithini’s estate withdrawn


AFTER weeks of tension and divisions that led to court action, the Zulu nation can finally look forward to the coronation of its next king.

King Misuzulu kazwelithi­ni, 47, the heir of the recently departed King Goodwill Zwelithini and Queen Mantfombi was named as a preferred successor to the powerful throne on Friday.

This after the reading of his mother’s will by Adv Griffiths Mdlalose SC, live on television.

The announceme­nt came amid tensions in the royal family which had divided the princes and princesses into two factions.

One was referred to as the “royal rebels”.

That was the faction that included the king’s siblings, Prince Mbonisi and Princess Thembi, who have been accused of holding “unauthoris­ed” parallel meetings, regarding the successor.

The reading of Queen regent Mantfombi’s will hit rocky ground when Prince Thokozani challenged its legality.

However, yesterday, the situation appeared calm in the Kwakhangel­amankengan­e palace, in Nongoma where the queen regent lived.

The family, including the would-be king, Prince Misuzulu, held long meetings yesterday morning.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, traditiona­l prime minister to the Zulu monarch, confirmed that King Misuzulu was already on the throne, having assumed the duties of a king.

He said formalitie­s would follow later on and he had been engaging with the premier of Kwazulu-natal to facilitate the process.

Buthelezi also said the factions within the family had smoked the peace pipe and pledged to support the newly appointed king.

He said a meeting was held yesterday to address family difference­s.

“The family appreciate­s this indication that stability and unity have been restored under His Majesty the King,” said Buthelezi.

The Sunday Tribune has been informed that litigation regarding king’s estate and the will had been withdrawn by those who had approached the courts.

The late king’s wife, Queen Sibongile, had approached the court to inherit 50% of the king’s estate as the first wife.

In separate court applicatio­n, Princesses Ntombizosu­thu and Ntandoyenk­osi filed an urgent applicatio­n in the Pietermari­tzburg High Court to dispute the authentici­ty of their father’s signature in a will which appointed Queen Manftombi as regent.

According to the source, the decision to withdraw litigation­s was taken after meetings, where it emerged that their cases were not strong.

“Plans were under way for the coronation of the king, but he must be first cleansed as he lost his parents in a short period of time. The family felt it would be better if the process was completed sooner rather than later to avoid confusion,” said the source.

However, Buthelezi said any member of the royal family who wished to challenge the will in court could.

He further revealed that he had learnt that some within the royal family were seeking legal advice on challengin­g the appointmen­t of the new king.

The announceme­nt of King Misuzulu as a successor was warmly welcomed by many, with his pictures flooding social media.

He had been touted as the front runner to the throne since his mother was also from a royal family, being the sister of King Mswati III.

He kept a low profile and it is understood that he was protected as the next king.

The Sunday Tribune understand­s that Prince Misuzulu attended school in Britain, along with his cousins from his uncle, King Mswati III.

He holds a degree in internatio­nal studies from the US. He is a member of the Nazareth Baptist Church known as Shembe, which he became a full member of in 2014.

He is unmarried with one son. Dr Maxwell Shamase, a cultural expert from the University of Zululand, with extensive knowledge of Zulu history, said chaos had been expected in the process of naming a king’s successor.

He said historical­ly, ascending to the powerful throne of the Zulu Kingdom had never been smooth and welcomed by all royals.

“From King Shaka, to the recently departed monarch, there have been threats and drama around succession. So what we saw after the reading of the will was expected, it signifies the power of the throne,” said Shamase.

With regards to the king’s marital status, Shamase said that should not prevent him from being crowned because many Zulu kings ascended to the throne unmarried.

Shamase said Buthelezi may also continue as prime minister under King Misuzulu’s rule, despite his fall-out with some royals.

He said the position of being a prime minister had no time frame and historical­ly, it has been only death that removed predecesso­rs.

Buthelezi said the king would go to eswatini for about a week to collect all his belongings as he would now live in the Zulu kingdom on a full-time basis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa