UPDATE: Prince Mbonisi lawyers first to take the stand in fight for Zulu throne case

King Misuzulu of the Zulu nation. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

King Misuzulu of the Zulu nation. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Oct 16, 2023


The epic high court battle over the Zulu throne is under way on Monday in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The case was brought by Prince Simakade, the first-born son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini who is arguing that he is the rightful heir to the throne and he was robbed of it through manipulation of royal systems to identify a king.

However, taking the floor first to argue their case was advocate Thabani Masuku SC (senior counsel) on behalf of Prince Mbonisi Zulu, a half-brother of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini who wants Prince Buzabazi to take the throne.

Masuku told the court that President Cyril Ramaphosa ignored warnings from some members of the royal family like Prince Mbonisi that he should not go ahead with recognising King Misuzulu.

He said that was because there was an ongoing dispute and an appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to try and set aside Judge Isaac Madondo's judgment that paved the way for King Misuzulu to take the throne.

He presented several letters Prince Mbonisi and others wrote to Ramaphosa which were ignored and King Misuzulu was later coronated at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban in October last year.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) October 16, 2023

According to Masuku, Ramaphosa only listened to the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the then Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who told him that King Misuzulu was the rightful heir.

Masuku also argued that the meeting of May 14, 2021 that nominated the then Prince Misuzulu as the successor of King Goodwill Zwelithini was illegally constituted.

He argued that the meeting was called under the guise of a cleansing ceremony and was later used to nominate a new king.

Challenging the attendance register, he said the people were required to give their contact details and addresses for Covid-19 purposes. He also pointed out that even the registers presented to the court had discrepancies, as one had 51 names and the other one had 84.

He also argued that some of the people who took part in that meeting were not members of the Zulu royal family.

Masuku faced howling from the bench of King Misuzulu supporters when he said there is no house called KwaPhindangene in the royal family. Masuku also contested that the late Prince Buthelezi was not empowered to call and chair royal meetings, and he was howled at further.

He asked the judge to “protect” him from the howling that was coming from the likes of Prince Africa Zulu, the spokesperson for King Misuzulu.

The howling started when he told the court that King Misuzulu had no support and was just defending his interests in the matter.

Someone from the benches shouted, “Sikhona - we are here.”

The marathon court case is expected to be heard by Judge Norman Davis over three days and the legal team of King Misuzulu would be the last one to defend the case.

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