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Zulu royal rebels write to Ramaphosa: We are in final stages of naming next king

King Misuzulu KaZwelithini. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA) Archives

King Misuzulu KaZwelithini. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Feb 23, 2022


Durban - The so-called “Zulu royal rebels” have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, claiming that the mediation team led by former KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Willies Mchunu, failed to bring a solution regarding the royal succession matter, and they are now in the final stages of naming the next king of the tribe.

In a letter written on February 21, and signed by Prince Mbonisi Zulu and his brother Prince Vulindlela, they opened by thanking Ramaphosa for granting the late King Goodwill Zwelithini a state funeral.

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They then said they appreciated the intervention by Ramaphosa and his Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

However, they said the intervention did not fulfil its intended purpose because of high tension over the issue of succession and political interference.

“The Zulu Royal Family, represented by the Zulu Royal Council, appreciates the intervention of the Presidency and Cogta by sending a mediation team to intervene on the matter regarding the Successor of the Zulu King.

“The mediation team was intended to assist the family with regards to the tension that arose over the appointment of the successor to be King after the passing of His Majesty.


“The family feels that the intervention did not fulfil its intended purpose, which was to encourage cooperation and a peaceful sitting of the core Zulu Royal family members and for the Zulu Royal Council to be able to fulfil its mandate with minimal disarrangement from external parties, political interference and individuals imposing themselves as Zulu Royal family members.

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“The Zulu Royal family feels the intervention was unsuccessful not because of the incompetency of the mediation panel team but because of the high tension and sensitivity of the matter regarding the appointment of the new King.” reads part of the letter.

Specifically, one member of the royal rebels said the Mchunu committee even listened to input from people ``who are not core members of the royal family.”

They then said they would name the next king next month.

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"The Zulu Royal family wishes to reassure the President that it has taken the necessary measures to address the matter of the Successor to the Zulu King," the letter read.

Prince Mbonisi Zulu arriving at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal in Nongoma on May 4, 2021. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Mchunu said although he was not aware that such a letter had been sent by some members of the royal family to the president, he denied the allegations that they failed in their mandate.

He said they were even generous enough to listen to input which was even outside their scope,just to ensure that all parties felt heard and content that their input was taken into consideration.

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“We deny that, we listened to all sides, including Prince Mbonisi and his side. Their input was included in our final report. We even listened to some input which was not part of our terms of reference,” Mchunu said in response to the accusations.

Mchunu said it was worrying to see issues of the royal family being aired on media platforms, adding that it compromises the sacred institution.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, did not respond when asked whether the Presidency had received the letter or not.

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Political Bureau