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Zulu royal family feud over King Goodwill Zwelithini’s will, estate set for court in December

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, left, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. File Picture

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, left, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. File Picture

Published Nov 18, 2021


Durban - THE court battle over the last will of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation will be heard over two days by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The case will be presided over by Judge Rishi Seegobin, who has been hearing the matter since it started in late March this year.

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The dates for the hearing are contained in a press statement issued by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu King and the nation, where he was clarifying what transpired when he met with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban on Monday.

According to Buthelezi, Ramaphosa wanted to understand the contest over the throne that is currently occupied on a de-facto basis by King Misuzulu KaZwelithini.

“Having discussed the matter, we noted that nothing can be done until current litigation is finalised. The cases in this regard will come before the court on 7 and 8 December,” Buthelezi said in his statement.

A member of the legal team of King Misuzulu, Advocate Musa Ntsibande, confirmed the dates as revealed by Buthelezi and said they are correct.

The looming hearing is divided into three parts. First, the first wife of the late King, Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu, approached the court saying she was married to the late king in community of property and, as such, she wants to inherit 50% of the late king’s estate – with five wives sharing the rest.

She is not challenging the validity of the other five wives (including the late queen regent, Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, who is not related to her as she was from the royal family of eSwatini) of the late king.

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However, in one of her affidavits, she contested that by marrying the late king, the other queens knew that their marriages would one day encounter legal hurdles as the king was married to her in civil rites and was legally not allowed to marry them.

In another case related to this challenge brought by Queen Sibongile, her two daughters, Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, are challenging the validity of the will of the late king, saying it cannot stand as some of the signatures in it have been flagged as forged.

However, their legal challenge has encountered a bitter fight back after King Misuzulu hired his own handwriting expert, Cecil Greenfield, who filed a counter-report saying the signature was not forged.

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The third dimension is the counter application by King Misuzulu, who wants the court to void the civil marriage of the queen to the late king. Hence, Buthelezi now argues the marriage was not in civil rites format.

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