WATCH: We are not killers, Princess Thembi and Prince Mbonisi speak out on poison claims
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Nongoma - The Zulu “royal clique” - led by King Goodwill Zwelithini’s siblings Princess Thembi, Prince Mbonisi and little known Prince Thokozani, which is seen in the eyes of some as disruptive and determined to impose their own candidate for the throne, has given its side of the story.
In an impromptu press conference held metres away from KwaKhangela royal palace in Nongoma, the grouping which was about 40 in number (there are about 270 royals) and led by Princess Thembi, Prince Mbonisi and little known Prince Thokozani, said it was hurt that the alleged poisoning of disputed Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu was being indirectly pinned on them.
The group had earlier met at Kwakhethomthandayo palace, also in Nongoma, to discuss what they called “important issues.”
Leading from the front during the press conference was Princess Thembi who said they are not behind the death of the queen as they are being framed in the public eye.
"People think that we are murderers since the queen (Dlamini-Zulu) it is said she was poisoned, people who are said to be behind this is me and this brother of mine (Prince Mbonisi) because we had a meeting that started at KwaKhethomthandayo (palace)," she said
Still livid, the senior princess said the reason why they decided to meet without Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the King's and Zulu nation's traditional prime minister, was because she did not take kindly to those with dissenting views during royal meetings and that makes them uneasy.
"The reason why we decided not to invite the Prince (Buthelezi) to the meeting is that he doesn't give us space to freely discuss matters. He would belittle you, make you feel like a toddler in front of people and shoot you down if you have a view he does not like. So we decided to meet on our own," said Princess Thembi, insisting only God knows who will be the next Zulu king.
Backing the princess, Prince Mbonisi said the allegations of poisoning were hurtful and in the public eye they were killers. He also said they respect the throne and they would back whoever takes over.
Buthelezi's communication team was still preparing a response to Princess Thembi's claims.