Zulus urged not to attend court for case of the late king’s estate
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Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has urged the Zulu nation not to gather in large numbers at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, next week, when the royal family's legal battle for the late King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu’s throne and estate enters its latest chapter.
Issues that the much-awaited court hearing is set to delve into includes the authenticity of the penned signature on King Zwelithini’s will, and his marriage to his first wife, Queen Sibongile maDlamini, during Tuesday and Wednesday’s sitting.
While King Misuzulu was named as the heir to the throne, according to the will in question, his inauguration as king was still pending because of the dispute among royal family members.
The court hearing comes after Queen Sibongile, and her two daughters, Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, challenged the validity of the late king’s will, saying it could not stand because they had flagged some of the signatures as being forged.
In a separate court application, Queen Sibongile, who is the first wife to the late King, approached the court saying she was married to him in community-of-property. Therefore, she wanted to inherit 50% of the late king’s estate – leaving his five other wives to share the remainder of the estate.
The matters were consolidated and everyone involved was urged to file their respective applications by July last year.
The initial hearing was set for December 2021, but was postponed when the presiding judge took ill.
Buthelezi, in his capacity as Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu monarch and nation, appealed to his people not to attend the court sittings and cited the Covid-19 Omicron variant as a threat.
Buthelezi also announced that neither and the King would attend proceedings.
“His Majesty the King, and all parties in this case, are well-represented by senior counsel. There is no need for the King or me to be present, and our absence will not be prejudicial in any way.
“We have taken this decision based on the ongoing Covid-19 danger, as unnecessary gatherings could cause the further spread of the virus. It has been pointed out that the courtroom itself is limited in size, which will affect how many people are allowed inside.
“It is illogical for crowds to gather outside the court either to give moral support to the King or for any other reason. This will risk lives and may be construed as an act of civil disobedience of precautions laid down by the government.” .
Buthelezi added that the outcome of this hearing would be fully communicated once it was finalised.