King Goodwill Zwelithinis wife-to-be, Zola kaMafu. Picture: GCINA NDWALANE

Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini is set to marry his sixth wife, Swazi princess Zola Zelusiwe kaMafu in a traditional ceremony next month - though they are already legally married.

The Zulu king’s prime minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, made the announcement this week.

The ceremony is expected to be held at the Ondini Royal Palace on July 26.

Buthelezi said he had been asked to inform the nation about the wedding.

KaMafu was 17 years old when she was chosen by the king, she is now 28.

“This sanctified event and which will bring joy to both the Zulu Royal Household and the Mafu family should have the same resonance to all of us as the Zulu Nation,” said Buthelezi in a signed royal epistle.

Buthelezi urged all royal amakhosi, izinduna, royal structures and the nation to make the event a success.

“All Zulu subjects are expected to adorn their regalia on this day.

“It is prudent that we elevate what we are so that even our youth will grow up proud of what we are and who we are as a nation,” said Buthelezi.

He added that high-profile guests from all corners of the globe were expected to grace the wedding.

More details on the wedding are expected to be discussed tomorrow when the council of amakhosi (chiefs) meets.

Spokesman for the Zulu Royal family Prince Thulani Zulu said: “At the moment we only have this information, the rest might be known on Monday.” He confirmed that the wedding would take place in the Ondini Royal Palace which is currently the royal base of Queen kaMafu.

The chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, said he did not have any further details.

“As a norm, when there are developments of that nature it is Prince Mbonisi who informs us as he represents the King at our council. We will await Monday’s meeting and hear from there. We will then inform all amakhosi in a proper way and (tell them) what is expected of them,” said Chiliza.

It is unclear at which royal palace Queen kaMafu will be based after the wedding.

Queen kaMathe is at KwaDlamahlahla; Queen MaDlamini at KwaKhethomthandayo; Queen MaNdlovu at KwaLinduzulu; Queen Mantfombi Dlamini of Swaziland at KwaKhangelamankengana; and Queen MaMchiza at Nyokeni. Queen KaMafu lives at KwaKhangelamankengane.

She previously made headlines over tensions between her parents over who should receive the lobola (dowry).

Sunday Tribune