Ingonyama Trust Board chairperson claims letter unseating him is ‘forged’

King Misuzulu says he still has confidence in Mzimela. Picture: Sihle Mavuso / IOL Politics

King Misuzulu says he still has confidence in Mzimela. Picture: Sihle Mavuso / IOL Politics

Published Sep 26, 2023


The chairperson of Ingonyama Trust Board, Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela says he is still in office and denies that he has been dethroned.

Mzimela told IOL on Tuesday that the letter bearing King Misuzulu’s signature and sent to the Office of the Premier in KwaZulu-Natal to purportedly notify Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube of his removal was “forged”.

“As I am speaking to you right now I am in the office working, there is no letter from the King removing me.

“There is a statement clarifying that the purported letter is fake and it was forged by rogue elements,” Mzimela said when asked about the reported dethroning.

The "forged" letter dated 22 September 2023 and purportedly signed by King Misuzulu Ka Zwelithini announced that Mzimela would be replaced by Inkosi Mabhudu Tembe of the Tembe clan of Umhlabuyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The letter did not state any reasons behind the supposed removal of Mzimela from the Mzimela clan in Mthunzini near Richards Bay.

Mzimela’s appointment to the position early this year is believed to have caused the fallout between King Misuzulu and the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The Ingonyama trust manages over three million hectares of tribal land across KwaZulu-Natal rich in minerals and other resources.

The allegedly forged letter reads: “I have elected to revoke the chairmanship of the current chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board, Inkosi Thanduyise Nkosinathi Mzimela, with immediate effect and has informed him accordingly of such decision.

“Premised on the aforesaid provision of the Act, I King Misuzulu Ka Zwelithini, hereby nominate and appoint Inkosi Mabhudu Israel Tembe… as chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board, with immediate effect.

“Attached hero is the acceptance letter of Inkosi Mabhudu Israel Tembe confirming his appointment,” reads the letter sent to the office of the Premier.

The King’s office responded saying: “King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini still has confidence in Mzimela.”

It added that it was undertaking a process to have the source of the “forged” letter to be investigated and those behind it brought to book.

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