Durban – Eight days before King Misuzulu, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and others file their responding papers to a legal challenge over the Zulu throne, Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu has confirmed that they have officially joined the legal battle.
The senior princess who is sister to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and who is famous for repeatedly saying only God knows who will be the next Zulu king, told Independent Media on Tuesday that “several princes and princess have filed their supporting affidavits”.
The affidavits are in support of a court challenge brought by Queen Sibongile Dlamini, the first wife of the late king and her two daughters, Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma.
The three are challenging the validity of the will of the late king, claiming some of the signatures in it were flagged by handwriting experts as forged.
As a result, with those signatures, they urge that the will cannot stand and the nomination of the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu (not related to Queen Sibongile) as queen regent and the subsequent naming of Misuzulu as the next king should be declared null and void.
When the matter was heard last month, Judge Rishi Seegobin of the Pietermaritzburg High Court ordered that all parties from the royal court who are in support of the court action, file their supporting affidavits by June 18 this year.
The judge also ruled that the respondents like King Misuzulu and Buthelezi should respond by June 30 this year.
Now, for the first time, Princess Thembi has confirmed that they have joined the legal fight. At the height of the royal battles in the early days of May this year, just before the burial of Queen Regent, Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, the faction called the “Royal Rebels”, led by Princess Thembi and Prince Mbonisi Zulu and Prince Thokozani, refused to comment when asked whether they had joined the legal fight or not.
But on Tuesday, Princes Thembi changed her tune and said they have joined the battle on the side of Queen Sibongile and her two daughters.
“Yes we have filed our supporting affidavits… It’s hard to give you an exact number of royal family members who have filed their supporting affidavits, but they include royal family children of Bhusha (King Cyprian Bhekuzulu, the father of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini) and Umdlokombane (King Goodwill Zwelithini) and some children of princes and princesses.
“The reason why we joined the fight was that we had to act when children of the King (Goodwill Zwelithini) said the signature is forged. That could be true, as they know it,” the senior princess said.
Another family member who has joined the fight is Prince Buzabazi Zulu, the brother of Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu, the prominent prince who is the face of the KZN Department of Health’s male circumcision campaign and who was also tipped for the throne.
Prince Buzabazi said he was compelled to act because they want to know who forged the late king’s signature.
“Yes, it is true that I am one of those who filed their supporting affidavits because our sisters (Ntandoyenkosi and Ntombizosuthu) said they have uncovered that the signature of our father is not authentic, we want to know whose signature is it then.
“Now that my sisters have unearthed this, we need answers about the signature,” the prince said.
The lawyer for King Misuzulu, Musa Ntsibande from the Strauss Daly law firm in Durban, confirmed that their responding papers should be in by June 30.
“Please note that as representatives of the King, we have until 30/6/2021 to file further affidavits if any.
“The 18th June is the deadline given to those supporting the applicants to file their affidavits,” Ntsibande told Independent Media.
Meanwhile, Princess Thembi told Independent Media that now that the mourning is over, they would on Sunday host a prayer service at KwadlaMahlahla palace in Nongoma “to pray for the throne”.
She did not divulge who has been invited and why.
The hosting palace is occupied by Queen Buhle Mathe, the mother of Prince Nhlanganiso, one of the five widows of King Goodwill Zwelithini.