Prince Mbonisi Bekithemba kaBhekuzulu in his latest challenge to King MisuZulu kaZwelithini’s position is seeking to stop him from appointing a traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Monarch and nation.
However, King Misuzulu has already announced the appointment of Zululand District mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi as traditional prime minister and Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza as his deputy.
Prince Mbonisi’s lawyers JG & Xulu Incorporated Attorneys filed an interdict application last November in the Pietermaritzburg High Court asking for King Misuzulu to be prevented from “appointing a person to serve as Undunankulu and/or Prime Minister of the Zulu Monarch and of the Kingdom of Amazulu”.
The application also seeks to interdict king Misuzulu from exercising the powers of the Trustee of the Ingonyama Trust; convening any meetings with amakhosi to discuss the affairs of the Zulu Kingdom and giving any directives to amakhosi on matters involving the Zulu Kingdom.
Prince Mbonisi in his affidavit said the application for an interdict was aimed at preventing the Ingonyama Trust board and others from “dissipating the financial resources of the trust in support of the personal interests” of the king and to prevent government respondents, including the Premier, “from unlawfully spending public funds” in support of the king.
The latest case comes after Prince Simakade Zulu, Misuzulu’s half brother and Prince Mbonisi, the half brother of the late king, filed an application to overturn the president’s certification of Misuzulu as the Zulu king.
In December, Judge Norman Davis delivered a judgment in the High Court in Pretoria declaring Ramaphosa’s recognition of Misuzulu as Zulu king as invalid.
Judge Davis found that Ramaphosa had not correctly appointed the King in terms of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act 3 of 2019 (the Leadership Act). Ramaphosa was granted leave to appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal. The president said during the course of these legal processes, Misuzulu remains the identified heir to the throne.
Prince Mbonisi said it was common cause that “the provincial government has been offering financial and administrative assistance to the (king) on the basis that it recognises him as the lawfully recognised king of the amazulu Kingdom”.
Judge Davis also granted leave to cross appeal his order to Prince Mbonisi. This was also granted to Prince Simakade and to King Misuzulu on separate aspects.
Judge Davis said leave to appeal was granted on all the applications, despite some lacking prospects of success.
Prince Mbonisi said it was common cause that ‘the provincial government has been offering financial and administrative assistance to the (king) on the basis that it recognises him as the lawfully recognised king of the Amazulu Kingdom’.
“The stance of the government respondents is untenable because they are aware that, the Zulu Royal family, which is the only body with the cultural and statutory authority to identify and announce a Zulu king for the Zulu kingdom is challenging the lawfulness of the decision of (President Cyril Ramaphosa) in recognising (King Misuzulu).
“To ignore pending legal proceedings that challenge the lawfulness of the decision to recognise (Misuzulu) as the lawful king of Amazulu is an irresponsible, irrational and unreasonable exercise of public power,” Mbonisi said in his submission.
Mbonisi said pending the outcome of litigation challenging Ramaphosa’s decision to recognise Misuzulu as king, they were seeking orders stopping Misuzulu from conducting the duties of a Zulu monarch.
Misuzulu’s spokesperson Prince Africa Zulu said he would consult with the king on whether he would be opposing the application but did not respond at the time of publication.