Pietermaritzburg - There were scenes of jubilation by loyal supporters of de facto Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini after KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president Isaac Madondo's ruling that cleared his path to be coronated and to succeed the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March last year.
The moment of joy for the supporters and royal family members started inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court while Judge Madondo was delivering his lengthy judgment on three matters that were before him.
In the first matter, Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu wanted the court to grant her an order that 50% of the late King’s estate be set aside for her as she was the first wife and they were married through civil rites and community of property.
Judge Madondo dismissed the application, saying there was no dispute and also they had failed to ask the court to declare the other five customary marriages of the King unlawful. As such, the court could not rule on something that was not before it and it was not clear from the application which part of the estate she wanted as the royal estate was divided into five categories.
On the second matter, the queen’s two daughters wanted the will of the King to be suspended and not used to distribute his estate until its validity has been determined. They also wanted to halt the coronation of King Misuzulu.
Judge Madondo ruled that the coronation cannot be stopped as the will has no bearing on who should be the next king. However, he said the will should be impeached to determine its validity after some signatures were flagged as forged.
On the third matter, Judge Madondo dismissed an application by Prince Mbonisi to halt the coronation on the basis that King Misuzulu was wrongly nominated and there is a pending dispute which should first be resolved.
As Judge Madondo was laying out points on why he was dismissing the case, royal family members who were in the court gallery kept on murmuring “Ayikhale” every time it became clear they were heading for a decisive victory.
When Judge Madondo ended the court session and left the courtroom, royal family members who could not contain their joy erupted in song and gave King Misuzulu the royal salute of “Bayede” even though he was not present. They later erupted in traditional Zulu songs while a praise singer bleated praises.
Video by Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics
The celebration, which was accompanied by hugs and handshakes, continued at the park opposite the court. Earlier, Prince Bambindlovu, the brother of King Misuzulu, told the media that wherever he was “he was happy” with the ruling.
At the park, senior royal family member and aide to King Misuzulu, Prince Thulani Zulu, told the crowd of Zulu regiments, maidens and sympathetic members of the public that “there was no winner” after the court ruling and it was normal that disputes would arise among family members.
Through traditional songs, Zulu regiments celebrated victory and also took a dig at King Misuzulu’s detractors such as Prince Thokozani Zulu, one of the members of the royal family who was opposed to the ascension and coronation.
Prince Vanana, at some point, led the regiments in a song that took a dig at Prince Thokozani saying, “How is Thokozani speaking when we are so wounded (as a result of his actions)”. He later said their next stop after the victory is KwaKhangelamankengane, where the seat of royal power is based.
Regiments from the Mzimela and Mathaba clans from the north coast also took a dig at Prince Thokozani through a slogan saying, “What is Thokozani doing? Thokozani is provoking a conflict.”
When the regiments and some royal family members left the park, Prince Chris Zulu from KwaNobamba royal house in Babanango told Independent Media that "we will now meet at KwaKhangelamankengane", implying that preparations to coronate King Misuzulu could be kicked off soon.