Former leader of the Zulu regiments, Zihogo Mgilija Nhleko. Picture : Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former leader of the Zulu regiments, Zihogo Mgilija Nhleko. Picture : Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Former Zulu regiments leader Mgilija Nhleko in limbo after hearing postponed

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jul 29, 2021

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Durban - The former leader of the Zulu regiments, Zihogo Mgilija Nhleko, who was fired early this month, will have to wait for another week before he knows whether his olive branch to King Misuzulu and the Zulu monarch is accepted.

On Wednesday, accompanied by senior members of the Nhleko clan of Nongoma and the Nkosis from his mother’s side, Nhleko met with the Osuthu traditional council to seek reconciliation and apologise for his wayward behaviour.

However, the matter was not concluded as the delegation was asked to come back next week and table the matter again.

Nhleko’s woes started during the last days of the reign of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, the father of King Misuzulu.

In the July 8 statement announcing the firing of Nhleko as the leader of the famed regiments, Dr Dumisani Khumalo, the chairperson of the Osuthu royal council, alleged that at some point during the celebration of the First Fruits Ceremony, which is held annually at Enyokeni Royal Residence in Nongoma, Nhleko exchanged words rudely with the late king to an extent and later gave instruction that the matter be discussed.

Khumalo said after that, Nhleko had been involved in a number of transgressions. In one of the instances, he was part of the 2021 mid-June ritual hunt, which is supposed to involve King Misuzulu, but could not attend the hunt because he was not well.

Nhleko was later caught in a video saying he did not recognise the current king.

“He further said that he did not care if he was removed as leader of Amabutho. After all, he said, even the traditional attire and accoutrements that he uses were not bought for him by the Royal Family, but he bought them with his own money,” Khumalo said in the statement.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was on July 4, when Nhleko led a group of regiments to Nkandla to show their support for former president Jacob Zuma before he surrendered to start his prison sentence.

When Nhleko was asked about that trip, he allegedly told the royal house to back off, as they were there in a personal capacity, but the monarch said the traditional gear he wore is only worn when the king is around.

Efforts to get a comment from Khumalo yesterday failed as his phone rang unanswered and was later switched off. But royal sources confirmed that the matter was deferred to next week for further discussion.

“The matter of Mgilija was postponed to next week,” a source said briefly.

Nhleko referred all questions about the matter to the council.

“It would have been better if these questions were directed to the (Osuthu royal) council. Thanks,” he said and hanged up.

Last week the delegation of the Nhlekos and Nkosis tried to approach King Misuzulu direct and seek reconciliation and pay a fine in a form of cows. They were told to go to the council, as it was the council that recommended his sacking to the new King.

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Political Bureau

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