King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu. ANA
King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu. ANA

Divisions continue to rock Zulu royal family

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Jun 20, 2021

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The Zulu Royal Family’s tug of war on who the successor to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu continues to play out, with the late monarch’s brother and sister insisting that now that the mourning period was over, the family would meet to discuss succession.

At the centre of the latest factional battle within the royal household is the cleansing ceremony, including a hunting tradition in which the new, albeit disputed, King Misuzulu was supposed to partake following which his late father’s shield, spears and guns would be cleansed.

On Friday Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, in his role as Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, said that the hunting ceremony had been carried without his approval and the approval and participation of King Misuzulu who was suffering from a bad bout of flu.

Buthelezi said that this act by defiant members of the family to go ahead with the hunt was treacherous.

Princess Thembi, Prince Mbonisi and the late King’s daughter Princess Nombuso Zulu yesterday held a media briefing of their own, in response to that held by Prince Buthelezi on Friday where he declared the three month long mourning period for the King over and thanked the Zulu nation, and South Africa at large, for supporting the royal family following the king’s passing.

The Zulu royals insisted that all members of the family, including the King Misuzulu, had been made aware that the hunting ceremony was going ahead, something that even the Queen Mother Mavis MaZungu was aware of.

“I don’t think matters concerning the cleansing of the late king’s weapons concern members of the media, but as a family we had a programme to be followed with regards to the cleansing of the king’s belongings. We followed this in accordance with the traditions of the throne,” Prince Mbonisi said.

The late king’s daughter Princess Nombuso Zulu told the media that the cleansing ceremonies, including the hunting ceremony, had been a success, with all Zulu royal houses having also been cleansed.

Princess Thembi and Prince Mbonisi, the late king’s sister and brother, were also present at the briefing with Princess Thembi insisting that there were was no division in the family, adding that the family was united, they just had a difference of opinions like any other family.

“This thing of sides is troubling me, because this is one family, this is one household, all of these palaces are one household. We don’t look at it as divided, it is only the views that differ within the family,” Princess Thembi said.

Although King Misuzulu is recognised by Prince Buthelezi, and the late Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu’s will, as his late father’s successor to the throne, Prince Thembi said that Buthelezi did not have appointing powers and that there was an appointing structure within the family.

“We will follow the South African Constitution which declares how a king is appointed and how. We have an appointing structure in the royal family, that one who was speaking (Buthelezi) does not have power to appoint,” Princess Thembi.

She said that although she and her brother were viewed as rebels for opposing King Misuzulu’s appointment, it was not their intention to have fights, but they wanted to speak in one voice as family.

“Once the king is appointed, he will be above us all, he must look at us in the same view,” Princess Thembi said.

She added that now the mourning period was over, the family would meet and discuss who will be the successor to the throne.


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