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Zulu Monarchy: King Misuzulu and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi dig in as royal feud targets the throne

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jul 21, 2021


Durban - With or without the government's coronation and other due processes, King Misuzulu is already on the throne.

This is the message sent out by Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi in his umpteenth attempt to fend off the "royal rebels" who are questioning the naming of King Misuzulu as the leader of the Zulu nation.

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During his address on Monday, Buthelezi said: "All this fuss about legislation surprises us … I am not saying the legislation must not be followed," stressing that by asking the Zulu nation to pay lobola for the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini was binding himself to a decision that the heir would come from KwaKhangelamankengane royal palace, hence Misuzulu was the king.

On the instruction of King Misuzulu, Buthelezi called a press conference in Ulundi and announced that the king had resolved to call an urgent family meeting as soon as the Covid-19 regulations barring large gatherings allowed, and to address the issue of members calling themselves "core royal family members".

The group stems from a recent press statement signed by Prince Mbonisi Zulu, a senior royal family member and brother of the late king.

In the statement, the prince said he was was the rightful royal spokesperson, and that anything not coming from him or that "structure" was not legitimate and should be ignored by the public.

In response to that, Buthelezi said King Misuzulu wanted to set the record straight so that the Zulu nation did not get confused.

"His Majesty believes that this meeting is both urgent and necessary, due to the confusion that has been created in the public space on who constitutes the ’Royal Family’ and who speaks on behalf of the Royal Family. There have been several voices purporting to speak for the family, which have at times been assisted out of ignorance by the media. This has resulted in misinformation and confusion within the Zulu nation. His Majesty believes that this matter must be resolved as quickly as possible to avoid further confusion and divisions within the family," Buthelezi announced.

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Additionally, Buthelezi said there had been secret meetings, and that confusing letters had been circulated, purportedly from some royal family members, and that the meeting would help to clarify all that.

"In light of these three documents, His Majesty the king feels strongly that a meeting of all the royal houses must be held as soon as possible to avoid any catastrophe that may take place as a result of the confusion and bad blood within the Royal Family. The issue of what is understood by the ’Royal Family’ needs to be clarified, as some now claim to be the ’core’ of the Royal Family to the exclusion of other senior members of the Royal Family," Buthelezi said.

During the press conference, Buthelezi insisted that even though King Misuzulu has not been officially coronated, he was already on the throne and in centuries-old Zulu tradition, he was the king and those calling him "Prince Misuzulu" were being petty and insulting.

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"As far all of us that are here are concerned, the king is on the throne, but because all of this confusion, as my statement says, the king shall call a meeting as soon as Covid-19 regulations allow it."

The eruption of fresh ructions in the royal court come as parties await a directive from the Pietermaritzburg High Court to announce a date for oral arguments regarding Queen Sibongile Winfred Dlamini-Zulu wanting to inherit 50% of the late king’s estate, saying that they were married in community of property and that she was the first wife and they had been married through civil rites.

Dlamini-Zulu has since been joined by Princess Ntandoyenkosi Zulu and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, who have hired Johannesburg-based Yossi Vissoker, a graphologist (handwriting expert) who has since concluded that the signature on the last will of the late king was forged, and marked signs of where and how the alleged forgery happened.

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Vissoker then compiled a report for the court in which he noted that even if one tried for years to perfect a signature, it was not possible to get it right as each person had a unique and distinct way of writing.

“Based on and in accordance with accepted and proven documents examinations standards and in views of certain individual characteristics, as has been described and elaborated on in the above letter, with a special attention to those points reflecting Uncharacteristic noted to them, I can conclude that Set 1 and Set 2 have not been written or signed by the same hand being that of the Late His Majesty The King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu,” Vissoker’s report read.

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Political Bureau