EXCLUSIVE: Prince Mbonisi launches fresh legal battle against King Misuzulu, wants him interdicted from replacing Mangosuthu Buthelezi

King Misuzulu is said to be living large at the expense of Ingonyama Trust. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

King Misuzulu is said to be living large at the expense of Ingonyama Trust. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Oct 6, 2023


Prince Mbonisi Zulu, the half-brother of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, has launched yet another court battle against King Misuzulu.

This time around, the battle is over the control of the lucrative Ingonyama Trust Board which administers over three million hectares of land in KwaZulu-Natal.

The trust is also home to much sought-after minerals and generates millions in revenue in rental fees.

Prince Mbonisi also wants the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal to interdict the king from appointing a replacement for Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who was the longest-serving traditional prime minister of the monarch and the Zulu nation.

However, he did not elaborate in the papers why the monarch should be interdicted from filling the position that was left vacant on September 9, when Buthelezi died.

Furthermore, Prince Mbonisi and the others are challenging the removal of former Judge Jerome Ngwenya as the chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board and being replaced by Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela.

This is contained in court papers filed by Prince Mbonisi, supported by Prince Mathuba and Prince Vulindlela, among others.

The court papers are dated October 2, and they have asked Cape Town-based legal eagle, advocate Thabani Masuku SC to represent them in the epic battle.

Prince Mbonisi and the others want King Misuzulu to be interdicted until the pending court case brought by Prince Simakade over the Zulu throne is finalised (presumably in the Concourt at a later stage).

The matter would be heard by the North Gauteng High Court from October 16, and it is expected to determine the future of King Misuzulu on the Zulu throne.

Prince Mbonisi also wants King Misuzulu to be interdicted from convening any meetings with Amakhosi of the Kingdom of AmaZulu to discuss the affairs of the Zulu Kingdom, giving any directives to Amakhosi of the Kingdom of AmaZulu on matters involving the Zulu Kingdom.

Prince Mbonisi also wants the Ingonyama Trust to be interdicted from disbursing or in any matter allocating or paying out to whomsoever, any funds from Ingonyama Trust for the personal  benefit of the king, pending the filing of a review application to be brought within 30 days.

In this application, he said, the financial decisions and administration of those funds by the Trustee (the king) and the Board is challenged, save for those funds authorised by duly constituted authority prior to the appointment of the respondents whose authority and appointment is being challenged here.

He also wants the king to be interdicted and restrained from dispensing funds of the Ingonyama Trust for the purpose of funding any litigation involving the lawfulness of the First Respondent’s decision to recognise the  seventh Respondent as the King of Amazulu Kingdom.

In his papers, Prince Mbonisi said there is a risk that if King Misuzulu is not interdicted from accessing the funds of the Ingonyama, there shall be no money left by the time he is dethroned.

He alleged that the king had formed private 13 companies in partnership with people like Jacob Mnisi, Edward Ngwenya, Thami Zulu and Mthokozisi Mahlobo and they were illegally siphoning funds from the trust.

“This application has become necessary because of the conduct of the eight respondents (sic, it’s seventh, the king) unlawful conduct that has bearing on the dignity and the status of the throne.

“As the King of AmaZulu, he has no difficulties in sanctioning the use of Ingonyama Trust assets to bolster his personal interests,” Prince Mbonisi said in the papers.

The veracity of the allegations by Prince Mbonisi is yet to be tested by a competent court of law.

Going on about the alleged abuse of the resources of Ingonyama Trust by King Misuzulu, Prince Mbonisi alleges that he has an expensive lifestyle, so much so that at some point he stayed in a hotel called the View for three days.

He alleged that the king was there to address Amakhosi, but he never did. Instead, he spent his entire stay drinking “expensive liquor” and left a bill of R57,000 which was settled by the trust.

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