No word on crowning of Zulu king
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DURBAN - THE Zulu royal family said it was now up to the premier and the government to decide whether the coronation of the new king would take place or not.
Royal spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu told the Daily News on Tuesday that the ball was in Premier Sihle Zikalala’s court to decide when the coronation takes place.
“As the royal family, we have done what we were supposed to do which was to meet and appoint a new king and send the name to the Premier for the coronation,” said Zulu.
However, the KwaZulu-Natal government was mum on the coronation. The premier’s spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said: “The government does not discuss royal family matters in public, but communicates with the royal family directly.”
King Goodwill Zwelithini’s first wife’s (Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu) daughters were challenging the late king’s will and believed the new king’s coronation should not take place until the case was finalised.
Princess Ntandoyenkosi Zulu and Princess Ntombizosthu Zulu-Duma of the KwaKhethomthandayo Palace launched a high court application challenging the late king’s will, which appointed the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu as regent.
This resulted in the appointment of Prince Misuzulu as the new Zulu king. The matter was heard in Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday and was postponed to allow the respondents to file opposing affidavits. The respondents included the four queens, royal family members and the premier.
The court did not say anything about the coronation, but the applicants’ attorney, Mondli Thusini of Thusini Attorneys, told Daily News on Monday that his clients’ view was that the coronation should be on hold until the matter was finalised. He said his clients have not ruled out interdicting the coronation should the government go ahead with it.
“Our view was that it would be an irrational decision to conduct the coronation before the matter came to finality. What if the court says you inducted the wrong person? We don’t think the government must take that risk with taxpayers.
“There is nothing stopping my clients from going to court and stopping the coronation if the government and the royal family decide to go on with it,” said Thusini.
He said the queen and daughters believe that the king’s signature was forged. Further, he said it was his clients’ view that the late king had only one wife (Sibongile) whom he married in 1969 under the civil marriage.
The applications are divided into two parts. The first wife wants her entitlement as the only wife while the daughters questioned the will that eventually appointed the new king.
Thusini said his clients believed all the other queens were just mothers of illegitimate children of the late king because they never lawfully married.
“To us, Prince Misuzulu is an illegitimate child. He has the same status as Prince Simakade Zulu, who is the king’s first son out of wedlock. This discrimination that Misuzulu is of the royal blood because his mother was the daughter of King Sobhuza II from eSwatini kingdom doesn’t apply in the law,” said Thusini.
Another scenario, Thusini said his clients were questioning was that even the KZN Traditional Framework Act No 5 of 2005 does not allow the new king to be appointed through the will.
He said section 17 of the act stipulated that the new king will be appointed by the royal family while section 30 also talks about the appointment of the regent, which must also be appointed by the family.
Thusini said six royal family members had already filed affidavits in support of his clients. The respondents have until June 18 to oppose.
Since the king’s death in March, the royal family has been divided on who should take over. The king had appointed his third wife, Queen Mantfombi as regent, but she died less than a month after the king’s death which compounded the situation.
After her funeral, the royal family gathered to hear her lawyers reading her will about whom she appointed as the new king. Police had to intervene when the “rebel” Prince Thokozani Zulu stood up and wanted to ask questions regarding the announcement that Prince Misuzulu was a new king.