Zulu royal family feud: Willies Mchunu to meet both sides

Zulu King, Misuzulu kaZweltihini. Picture : Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)

Zulu King, Misuzulu kaZweltihini. Picture : Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 17, 2022


Durban – A few days after the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard the Zulu royal family matter, former KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu is set to meet the two factions to inform them about what the mediation report would look like.

Mchunu and his fellow panellists are expected to first meet the "royal rebels" led by Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu and Prince Mbonisi in Durban on Tuesday.

He will then travel to KwaKhangelamankengane royal place in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday to meet Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini and his traditional prime minister, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi and other senior royals, such as Prince Philemon and Prince Mbongiseni.

Mchunu and his fellow panellists were tasked by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to mediate the dispute on who should take the throne, which was left vacant when King Goodwill Zwelithini passed away in March last year.

The "royal rebels“ are adamant that Prince Simakade, the first-born son of the late king is the rightful heir. When they first met Mchunu and his team last year, they argued that Prince Simakade grew up at KwaKhangelamankengane palace and was being groomed for the throne.

Furthermore, they told Mchunu that the process to nominate candidates for the throne was never done correctly as Buthelezi "imposed Prince Misuzulu" without following due processes, and attempts to have a proper meeting was shot down.

Meanwhile, Buthelezi and King Misuzulu's backers told Mchunu that there should be no debate about who should take over the throne as Misuzulu KaZwelithini was a clear and undisputed candidate. They argued that his mother, the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu was of royal blood from the Kingdom of eSwatini and her lobola was paid for by the entire Zulu nation, signifying that she would give birth to an heir for the throne.

Mchunu confirmed that he would meet all the sides in the coming days and clarified that he was not going to meet them to present his final report but merely to brief them on what was likely going to be part of his report.

Senior princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu and Prince Mbonisi Zulu. Picture : Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)

"The final report would be sent to those who assigned us (Cogta) and those authorities will decide what to do with it. So it is not true that I will be presenting the report to members of the royal family. What I would be doing is that I would be presenting to them what informed our final report on the matter.

“In short, (we) will be taking them on board about what they should expect from our report," Mchunu told IOL on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, following last week's court case, both sides are confident of victory as they wait for KZN Deputy Judge President Isaac Madondo to hand down his judgment in the coming months.

The King Misuzulu faction believes that Judge Madondo will not interdict (as requested by Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma) his coronation pending the finalisation of the dispute of the late king’s will which they believe bears forged signatures.

The royal rebels are confident that Judge Madondo was convinced that the nominations were not carried out in accordance with the legislation governing royal nominations for queens and kings.

As such, he would order the process to be started afresh, thus giving them an opportunity to officially field Prince Simakade for the race.

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Political Bureau