King Mswati to attend Zulu King’s coronation in Durban despite threats of protests against him

King Mswati, right, will attend King Misuzulu’s coronation. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

King Mswati, right, will attend King Misuzulu’s coronation. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Published Oct 12, 2022


Durban - The under-fire monarch of the eSwatini kingdom, King Mswati III, has confirmed that he is going to attend the coronation of Zulu King, Misuzulu Sinqobile KaZwelithini, even though his presence may spark protests.

The two kings are blood relatives and the coronation ceremony will take place at Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium on October 29.

King Mswati is an uncle to King Misuzulu as the latter’s mother, the late Queen Mantfombi Shiyiwe Dlamini-Zulu, the great wife of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, is a half-sister of the Swati king.

Both King Mswati and Queen Mantfombi are offspring of the late King Sobhuza of eSwatini who died in 1982.

On Tuesday, King Misuzulu paid a courtesy visit to King Mswati at Ludzidzini royal palace just outside the capital city of Mbabane.

The eSwatini Observer, a daily newspaper controlled by Tibiyo TakaNgwane, reported that King Mswati asked the Swati nation to pray and fast for the official coronation of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

The paper did not explain why the king asked for that. However, it is known that King Misuzulu’s ascension was never an easy one.

He was bitterly challenged by Prince Simakade and later by Prince Buzabazi. Prince Simakade is still having a pending court case at the Pretoria High Court where he is challenging Misuzulu’s recognition as the King of the Zulu nation, arguing that he is the rightful heir.

King Mswati’s spokesperson, Percy Simelane, said the king would come to Durban for the event.

That is despite his presence being likely to spark ugly scenes of protests by the Swati diaspora fighting for political reforms in the kingdom.

“The king has officially registered interest in participating in the coronation of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

“We have no reasons to believe he will not take part.

“If people in the diaspora will be protesting eSwatini police brutality which occurred during peaceful marches they surely would be exercising their rights as is the case is all over the world.

“We elect not to go into the merits of what happened during the recent uprising that sucked in the police and the army, save to say that 400 businesses, private and public structures had been torched by 'peaceful protesters’, who also looted shops and robbed motorists.

“We have no reasons to think the king could be deterred by the protesters in question from attending the coronation.”

There have been talks among progressives forces that one of the ways to draw the attention of the international community to the plight of Swati people killed by the king’s forces is to stage protests around the globe.

Such protests have been previously staged at the Swati high commission in Pretoria and the one in London.

In May last year, the Johannesburg-based Swaziland Solidarity Network was up in arms, saying King Misuzulu should not be using security personnel from the kingdom as the people there are poor.

Instead, he should fund it from his own pocket as his late mother left him enough fortune to afford it.

That was when King Misuzulu was still without state support after the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal withheld it on the basis that there was a dispute.

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