Durban - The leadership of the ANC in the Mzala Nxumalo region (Zululand District) will today meet Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini to introduce itself and mend their strained relationship.
The visit will take place on Sunday at the king’s palace in Pongola, on the border between South Africa and Eswatini.
In May this year, the region held its regional conference and one of its resolutions was that the king should be visited to show him support as he settles on the throne.
The conference noted its shattering electoral defeat in the Zululand region where it once governed municipalities like uPhongolo and Dumbe. At some point, Abaqulusi (Vryheid) voters felt that the ANC was against the king’s ascension to the throne.
The region’s chairperson, Sbu Mhlongo, speaking to the Daily News ahead of the visit, said their trip is meant to solely follow up on that conference resolution.
He added that immediately after the local government elections in November last year, they met in Ladysmith and some of the things they picked up as having turned voters against them was the issue of the Shembe church, the Zulu throne issue and the perceived persecution of former president Jacob Zuma.
NEWS: The ANC Mzala Nxumalo (Zululand) region will this weekend begin its long journey to mend ties with King Misuzulu & his people. On Sunday the region's REC will meet the King in Pongola to try and dispel perception that they are against his ascension to power. @DailyNewsSA— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) June 11, 2022
“We realised that one of the many things that led to our dismal performance at the polls was that we neglected the issue of the (Zulu) throne, we neglected the issue of the Shembe church and we neglected the issues around Msholozi (Zuma).
“Many people in the province are sympathetic to those structures and those structures have many people who are loyal to them. We have to meet with those structures, so we are trying to hit the ground running; we have already met with Msholozi,” Mhlongo said.
The king’s aide, Prince Mthokozisi Mahlobo, said the meeting would be an ordinary one, where people come to the king to pledge their allegiance to him - like everybody else.
“Yes they will come to pay their allegiance to the king; there is no special meeting as has been put out in public,” said Mahlobo, who is tipped to be the next traditional prime minister of the Zulu Kingdom.
The perceived neglect of the Zulu king stems from suspicions that some leaders of the ANC were privately backing the royal group that supports Prince Simakade to take over the throne, which was left vacant when King Goodwill Zwelithini passed away in March last year.