Prince Simakade ‘feels vindicated’ by court decision

Prince Simakade Zulu

Prince Simakade Zulu

Published Dec 13, 2023


Prince Simakade Zulu says they have been vindicated by Monday’s court ruling, which declared President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recognition of Misuzulu kaZwelithini as AmaZulu king as unlawful.

They will now scrutinise the individuals Ramaphosa will assign to the investigation committee that will have to probe the objections that have been raised.

Pretoria High Court Judge Norman Davis on Monday ruled Ramaphosa had not correctly recognised the king in terms of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act 3 of 2019 (the Leadership Act).

“The matter of the recognition of the Isilo of the AmaZulu is remitted to (Ramaphosa) who is directed to act in terms of Sections 8(4) and 8(5) of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act 3 of 2019 and to appoint an investigative committee as contemplated in that act to conduct an investigation and to provide a report in respect of allegations that the identification of (Misuzulu) was not done in terms of customary laws and customs,” Judge Davis said.

Judge Davis said Ramaphosa erred in law in performing an evaluative function regarding what he deemed to be “the evidence” when the act “clearly contemplates that an investigative committee is the statutory body created to perform such evaluative function”.

Prince Simakade’s spokesperson Prince Thokozani Zulu said the family had been vindicated by Monday’s court decision.

“Since the inception of this matter, the family has pointed out the plethora of irregularities related to the process in how the president made his decision, and this includes the report of the Mediation Panel, and how other evidence submitted by (the late) Princess Thembi (Zulu-Ndlovu) was ignored.”

Judge Davis said the mediation panel, which included former KZN premier Willies Mchunu had advised Ramaphosa not to rush his decision and to appoint an investigation panel to probe the objections but this was ignored.

The ongoing succession battle for the throne was taken to court by Prince Simakade Zulu, Misuzulu’s half brother and Prince Mbonisi Bekithemba ka Bhekuzulu, the half brother of the late king, who filed an application aiming to overturn the president’s certification of Misuzulu as the Zulu king.

Simakade, is the first-born son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Prince Thokozani said for Prince Simakade, this was a victory for the legacy of past kings, including the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.

“The de facto king (Simakade) looks at this as an opportunity for the one who emerges from a contested space to extend a hand to those not favoured.

“Simakade will extend his hand to foster unity and to redeem the dignity of the Zulu royal family and the nation.”

He said Ramaphosa will have to present all parties with the names of the individuals he is thinking of for the investigative committee.

“This will be for parties to satisfy themselves with regards to any reasonable apprehension related to independence or impartiality.

All parties will be afforded the opportunity to make oral and written submissions to the investigative committee and before their report is presented to the President all parties must be given an opportunity to view the report before the processes of legislative prescripts unfold.”

While King Misuzulu has not announced his next step, he is expected to appeal the judgment.

Legal expert Mpumelelo Zikalala said there were two issues in the matter regarding the customary law where the Zulu nation made its decision and then there was legislative recognition, which was the issue in this case.

“The court said to the president that there was a complaint sent to him and now it has directed him to listen to the complaint before arriving at a decision.

“The court said because he does not have the expertise to make this determination, he should create an investigative team which will be made up of cultural experts and others who are in a better position to advise.”

Zikalala said the king needed to be lawfully recognised in order to get the perks he is entitled to.

“This is the legislative way in which the king is recognised which falls under the Leadership Act.”

The Mercury

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