Claims that King Zwelithini’s son was murdered over rivalry for SA’s biggest throne
Johannesburg - Five suspects, four women aged between 27 and 42 and a 32-year-old man, have been arrested in Pretoria for the murder of 50-year-old King Goodwill Zwelithini’s son, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, who was killed in Joburg this month. In the king’s palace, a war is brewing over who will be next in line to the throne.
Some in the monarchy believe that the murder could be related to the rivalry of the royalty. The slain prince was first in line to South Africa’s biggest throne. Insiders in the palace reveal that secret meetings were held at the king’s KwaNongoma palace.
The police said the prince was killed while his friend was sleeping in another room. Close family member Badala Zulu told The Star on Sunday that the family was trying avoid internal wars.
“The death of the prince is very strange. How could his business partner not know anything? We can’t dismiss that the weapon could come from inside the family?” Badala said.
Sources say that the king has been immersed in meetings with his senior advisers. The royals are said to be in a bitter spat over who will take over the monarchy’s most senior responsibilities. Lethukuthula Zulu was known to be very close to his father.
While there is a battle to uncover the truth, the royal house is mum on the allegations that the murder arose because of rivalry. The Star has learnt that, in Gauteng, Zulu owned a Northwold home and a Sunninghill apartment.
SAPS Gauteng spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said five suspects were arrested on Friday night. “This comes as a result of meticulous investigation and hard work by the provincial investigating team who, since the reporting of the incident at Honeydew SAPS about two weeks ago, were able to piece together bits and pieces of information that saw the initial inquest docket being changed to a murder case,” said Peters.
“During the arrest, one of the suspects was found in possession of different substances and these were seized for further investigation (in regard to) the possibility of the deceased and his business partner having been drugged before cash and other valuables were stolen from their place.”
She said the investigation was continuing, and police hoped to uncover more evidence for building “a solid case that can stand up in court”.
“The investigation might also assist in establishing whether the suspects might have committed previous similar crimes where victims were drugged and robbed. At this point the suspects are facing a charge of murder and theft,” said Peters.
Police initially opened an inquest docket when the prince’s body was found by security guards in his home in the Graceland residential complex in Northwold.
King Zwelithini’s office has declined to comment on the death, saying it was not customary to do so.
Zulu Royal Household spokesperson Prince Mbonisi Zulu said they had not been informed about the developments in the death of their brother. He added that it was a difficult time for the family and police were requested to notify the family first about developments.