Getting the platform for the first time since the marathon court case started on Monday, the legal team of King Misuzulu put up a strong fight as they sought to overpower Prince Simakade, who wants to snatch the Zulu throne.
The proceedings on Tuesday started with a submission by advocate Marumo Moerane SC (senior counsel), who was representing President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa is one of the respondents in the case, as Prince Simakade argues that his decision to issue the certificate of recognition was irrational and has asked the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to set that decision aside.
Judge Norman Davis is presiding over the matter.
Moerane told the court that Ramaphosa was rational in issuing the certificate to King Misuzulu, thus paving the way for his October 2022 coronation.
After lunch, advocate Cedric Puckrin SC (senior counsel) took the podium and defended Ramaphosa’s decision to issue the certificate of recognition.
He argued that Ramaphosa was largely guided by the February 2022 judgement of Judge Isaac Madondo of the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
He said that judgment was binding and Ramaphosa had no way out, as it was even superior to the recommendations of a mediation panel that wanted the recognition to be halted until the dispute had been resolved.
Puckrin also pointed out that the now fiercely contested May 14, 2021, meeting, which nominated the then Prince Misuzulu to take the Zulu throne after his father, King Goodwill Zwelithini, was properly constituted.
He said those who attended were largely members of the Zulu royal family and used the evidence of one Professor (name unknown) Ngubane, who filed an affidavit for the court to say the meeting was valid and properly constituted.
Regarding the same meeting, he said Prince Mbonisi, who backs Prince Buzabazi for the throne, and the late Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu, who backed Prince Simakade, were invited but declined the invitation.
He contended that Prince Simakade was aware of the meeting; hence, he even sent the letter that was read out on his behalf.
Puckrin also disputed a claim by Prince Simakade that the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, the mother of King Misuzulu, wrote a book where she called him her favourite son.
The favourite son claim by Prince Simakade is being used in court to argue that even the late Queen knew that he had been traditionally adopted and became her eldest son, thus he has a legitimate claim to the throne.
“Whatever Prince Simakade says about being my mother’s favourite... is simply not true,” Puckrin told the court.
Puckrin also disputed the claims made by Prince Simakade in the court papers that his letter, in which he said he had no interest in the throne, was misread by Buthelezi.
He said Buthelezi did not read the letter at the May 14, 2021, meeting, but he asked someone to read it for all who attended the meeting.
The case continues on Wednesday, and it will be the last day where all parties will respond to each other, make concluding arguments, and leave everything to Davis to make his ruling.
It is widely expected that whoever loses to this court will take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal and even up to the Constitutional Court.