Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Zulu Queen, princesses tell Buthelezi he is a ’mere nephew’ who can’t call royal meetings

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jul 25, 2021

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By Sihle Mavuso

AS THE two main Zulu royal factions prepare to square up in court, Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu has told Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the monarch and Zulu nation, that he is a mere nephew of the royals and as such, he has no right to convene royal meetings.

This is contained in an affidavit filed by Queen Dlamini-Zulu in response to an affidavit filed by Buthelezi before the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The court is where the queen is fighting to inherit 50% of the estate of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini on the basis that they were married in community of property and in a civil rites marriage.

Also filing their supporting court papers together with Queen Dlamini-Zulu are her two daughters, Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu Duma-Zulu who, separately, allege that the will of the king cannot stand as they have evidence that some signatures on it were forged.

They have since hired Yossi Vissoker, a Johannesburg-based handwriting expert who has prepared a report for the court.

“Given the fact that Princess Ntandoyenkosi has already discussed the locus standi of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, I will not revisit or traverse those issues in this replying affidavit.

“All that is worth stating categorically and in unequivocal terms is umshana akabi inkosana ekhaya konina, so in the case of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, he is a nephew to King Solomon. It is therefore wise to encourage and plead with His Excellency Prince Buthelezi to remember his true status and the inherent customary limitations on a person who is a nephew.

“This is so important because he may unconsciously erode and denude himself of the respect we have accorded him as the royal family. In truth, Prince Buthelezi’s position as an elder is to advise as and when requested by the royal family. It is undesirable for him to convene meetings of the royal family,” Dlamini-Zulu argues in her court papers.

Dealing with the issue of the other five wives of the late king, Queen Dlamini-Zulu insists that they knowingly married him and that he was married to her and at some point, their marriage would face legal challenges.

“First, the other queens, with greatest respect to them, when they decided to be involved with the late Isilo, they knew that he was married. Accordingly, they were aware and reconciled themselves to the fact that their union could at some point face a challenge relating to validity.”

Queen Dlamini-Zulu’s daughters also contested that Buthelezi’s position as traditional prime minister is not recognised by the KwaZulu-Natal Traditional Leadership and Governance Act of 2005.

“I listed these traditional leadership positions to demonstrate that the role that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi draw his locus standi from, do not exist in the statute and are not recognised by the applicable statute. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has no direct and substantial interest in the issues forming the subject of litigation.

"It must be understood that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi grounded his case on the account that he is a member of the Royal Family. In this affidavit I will show that although he is a relative, however he does not have direct and substantial interest in the issues that form the subject of litigation. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi is indeed born of Princess Constance Magogo and as such forms part of what is generally referred to as the extended family.”

They also claimed that it was laughable that Buthelezi says the current centre of royal power is KwaKhangelamankengane, the Nongoma palace of the late Queen Regent, Mantfombi Shiyiwe Dlamini, and the late king.

According to them, KwaKhethomthandayo palace, also in Nongoma, where the mourning for the late King took place in March this year, is the centre of royal power.

“This is so because the first house is at Kwakhethomthandayo royal palace. There is no other palace where discussion relating to the succession can be held. This so because the mortal remains of the late His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini was at Kwa-Khethomthandayo on the last day before his internment. The cleansing ritual and ukuphuma kwengina was co-ordinated from Kwa-Khethomthandayo Palace.

“These facts are significant because they reaffirm that the centre of the royal family is Kwakhethomthandayo, not Kwakhangelamankengana Palace as Prince Mangosuthu is trying so hard to change the protocol,” the princesses claimed in the joint affidavit.

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