Polygamy, land, death threats and his vision - Zulu King Misuzulu speaks for first time
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Durban – King Misuzulu KaZwelithini has spoken publicly for the first time since he was nominated as the heir to the Zulu throne.
His older brother, Prince Simakade, who is their father’s oldest son, is amongst those who are contesting for the Zulu throne.
Speaking to a South African news broadcaster from Mkhuze in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, the 47-year-old king spoke about his vision for the future, and the legacy of his late father, King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu.
He also spoke about his family life and his wife, the possibility of marrying more women in future, the issue of land under the Ingonyama Trust and his desire to eliminate gender-based violence within the Zulu nation.
Speaking in English and wearing a suit, he said on the day he had to be whisked out of KwaKhangelamankengane palace in Nongoma on the night of May 7, he had had to “grow up.” This was shortly after he had been nominated in Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu’s will as the next Zulu king.
This was in reference to an incident in which his life was put at risk when Prince Thokozani Zulu rose up to challenge his naming as the next king, throwing the meeting into chaos. His close security detail, fearing that he could be in danger amid the chaos, had to whisk him out of the palace.
“I had to be responsible, I had to grow on that day, I had to think different, I had to now become a king,” he said.
Asked about his vision for the Zulu nation as he takes the throne, he said he was lucky that his father had laid a foundation for him, and he was going to use it wisely to take the nation forward.
“What my father left as a foundation for us to carry on, I have to build on that, not to eliminate and say we are starting a new thing, new beginnings. I think my father, the king, had already started on a good note, he laid the foundation for myself and for the nation…
“I really have a foundation that I am going to work with in so far as all I need to do, and maybe a few years later I can start my foundation, but I need to complete what the late king has already initiated and started,” he said.
The king also confirmed that he was married to Queen Ntokozo Mayisela, 36, and they have two children.
Asked if he would have more wives, he said: “Look, coming from a polygamous background… we can expect anything, I don’t want to shy away from my Zulu culture and my family culture. For now I am happy with the one that I have got,” he responded.
On the question of the Ingonyama Trust, a thorny issue that once pitted his late father with the national government when it wanted to disband the trust and take the 2.8 million hectares of land and place it in the hands of the state, he said:
“I think history tells us where the land of the Zulus is, there is no question, and for us it is to take that land and get it to be able to be developed, the right way, with other partners invited to our land.
“The Zulus cannot do it alone, we need other friends and other systems to come and work with us to make things happen on our land,” he said.
On eliminating gender-based violence that was ravaging the country, he said that was one of his priorities as he settled into his new role.
King Misuzulu appealed to the nation to have confidence in him, and to work with him to take the Zulu kingdom forward.