Objection to Buthelezi’s son’s takeover of clan dismissed

Inkosi Zuzifa kaMangosuthu Buthelezi at a memorial service for his late father inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Inkosi Zuzifa kaMangosuthu Buthelezi at a memorial service for his late father inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Jan 8, 2024


Durban — The Buthelezi clan under the leadership of the newly installed Inkosi Zuzifa kaMangosuthu Buthelezi has refuted claims of objection to his ascendency to the throne.

A week after his installation, early in December last year, a letter purportedly penned by KwaSalabengafi House objecting to his installation emerged on social media platforms.

The letter, which was seen by the Daily News dated December 15, 2023, said the then Prince Zuzifa was not heir to the throne since the position of the Inkosi of the Buthelezi clan is in the house of Mceleni Mbongwefile Buthelezi who, according to the letter, was the heir to the throne after the death of Inkosi Mathole.

Mceleni was the half-brother of the late Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi who were both sons of Inkosi Mathole who had more than 20 wives. Buthelezi clan is composed of more than 20 houses that met and endorsed the then Prince Zuzifa to succeed his late father, Mangosuthu, in December.

On Saturday a delegation from KwaSalabengafi House which comprised senior members met members of the KwaPhindangene House and distanced themselves from the letter challenging Inkosi Zuzifa’s ascendancy.

The clan’s spokesperson, Dr Bhekuyise Buthelezi, in a statement said a delegation comprising representatives of the KwaSalabengafi House had requested an audience with KwaPhindangene, after senior members of that house were appalled to learn of an objection that was lodged in their name, through social media.

Buthelezi said the delegation formally communicated their disassociation and rejection of the alleged complaint, as it wasn’t legitimate to start with, adding that the complaint was circulated to social media, without the approval of senior family members by a junior member of the house, who allegedly had a history of being in trouble with the law.

Further to that, Buthelezi said senior family members of the KwaSalabengafi family expressed their fullest support at a meeting held on December 6, 2023, where all senior houses of the Buthelezi Clan and members of the Royal Family, unanimously endorsed Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa Buthelezi’s name to be the next Inkosi of the Buthelezi clan.

“The KwaPhindangene family welcomed the visit as unity, stability and consensus have been key features of the Buthelezi clan under the leadership of its late Inkosi, His Royal Highness Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP. The KwaPhindangene family and senior members of the Buthelezi clan were happy that the matter has been resolved and accepted the explanation received.

“We embrace the KwaSalabengafi House as an integral part of the wider Buthelezi clan. Furthermore, the KwaPhindagene family and senior members of the Buthelezi clan appreciated the formal explanation and clarification and the indication that all Buthelezi houses unanimously support the identification of the name of Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa Buthelezi as the rightful successor to lead the Buthelezi clan, following the passing of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP,” read the statement.

Although Princess Magogo (the late Inkosi Mangosuthu’s mother) who was the daughter of King Dinuzulu was the last wife of Inkosi Mathole out of more than 20 wives, by virtue of being royalty she became the great wife and her son inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi took over the chieftaincy after Inkosi Mathole’s death.

The writer of the letter who is not named in it appears to be disputing this tradition. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. His comment would be added once received.

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