By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has denied he has quit his position as traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation.
He said he continued to serve at the pleasure of Zulu king Misuzulu KaZwelithini.
It has been reported that Buthelezi has had a fallout with the king over the chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board.
The board had been chaired by Judge Jerome Ngwenya for many years. But the king has backed the appointment of Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela for the position.
Buthelezi will hold a meeting with chiefs on Friday in Empangeni, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, to discuss matters related to Ingonyama Trust.
However, Buthelezi said in a media briefing yesterday that he had not resigned from his position as traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation.
He said he served in the position for 70 years and oversaw the installation of three kings.
“But the simple fact is that I have not asked his majesty to release me from this position, because I told his majesty from the beginning that I would serve at his pleasure, for as long as he requires and for as long as I am able, for the sake of our kingdom and our nation. The king has not asked me to relinquish this position and I remain in service,” said Buthelezi.
He said he would have a meeting with the chiefs on Friday where issues related to the Ingonyama Trust Board would be clarified.
He said since he called the meeting there had been speculation that it was an imbizo, but this was not the case.
This was a meeting with chiefs to talk about matters related to the Ingonyama Trust Board after recent developments.
“These matters, relating to the Ingonyama Trust Board, will be fully aired in my meeting with amakhosi on Friday May 26 in Empangeni. I shall therefore not discuss them any further here. Regarding that meeting, however, I wish to provide an update.
“As you are aware, I extended an invitation to amakhosi of the Zulu Kingdom to attend a meeting next Friday in which I, as the founder of the Ingonyama Trust and the traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation, will brief amakhosi on recent developments regarding the Ingonyama Trust Board. Since that invitation was issued, there have been several misrepresentations of the meeting as being an ‘Imbizo’. I wish to make it clear that I have not called an imbizo of the Zulu nation, but a meeting of amakhosi, as the stakeholders of the Ingonyama Trust land. The meeting is thus not open to everyone, and the venue cannot accommodate everyone. It is a meeting of amakhosi. I have, however, taken the decision to invite mayors of municipalities which administer governance within trust land, as it is clearly important for these mayors to have a clear understanding of the situation,” said Buthelezi