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Zulu regiments leader Zihogo Mgilija Nhleko axed

Zihogo Nhleko, also known as Mgilija. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency (ANA)

Zihogo Nhleko, also known as Mgilija. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 9, 2021


Cape Town - Leader of the Zulu regiments, amabutho, Zihogo Mgilija Nhleko has been fired by the Usuthu Traditional Council for a number of transgressions.

Dr Dumisani Khumalo of the Usuthu council announced that following a meeting of izinduna, abantwana and other stakeholders in royal matters it was decided that Nhleko has crossed the line.

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“Instances of his misconduct started before the death of the late King, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini. At the celebration of the last First Fruits Ceremony, which is held annually at Enyokeni Royal Residence, Mr Nhleko actually exchanged words rudely with the King himself, to the extent that the King gave instruction that a date be fixed to discuss his conduct, because the King felt insulted by Mr Nhleko answering him back rudely,” said Khumalo in a statement.

Khumalo said after that Nhleko had been involved in a number of transgressions. In one of the instances he was part of the ritual hunt, which is supposed to involve the King. But King Misuzulu kazwelithini could not attend the hunt because he was not well.

Nhleko was also caught in a video saying he did not recognise the current King.

“He further said that he did not care if he was removed as leader of Amabutho. After all, he said, even the traditional attire and accoutrements that he uses were not bought for him by the Royal Family, but he bought them with his own money,” said Khumalo.

He said this week King Misuzulu convened a meeting at KwaKhangelamankengane where a decision was taken to remove Nhleko.

“The minutes reflected that the Usuthu Traditional Council recommended that Mr Nhleko be removed. After the minutes were read and discussions were held, His Majesty the King and all present endorsed the council’s recommendation and agreed that Mr Nhleko should be removed. Since he had himself publicly said that he does not care if he is removed, it was decided to oblige him by announcing that he no longer plays any role in the regiments in the capacity in which he served before,” said Khumalo.

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He added that the removal of Nhleko had nothing to do with politics.

This week Nhleko led a group of amabutho to former President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla to defend and support him. This was when it was not clear whether Zuma would hand himself over to the police or be arrested as the deadline of the Constitutional Court was looming.

Hundreds of other supporters of Zuma had also converged at his homestead. Among those in the crowd that were later addressed by Zuma included senior leaders of the ANC.

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Political Bureau