South Africa’s Ramaphosa endorses Misizulu for kingship

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Zulu King Misizulu KaZwelithini. PHOTO | AFP

King Misizulu kaZwelithini’s official coronation as the traditional leader of the Zulu nation is set to take place after South African President Cyril Ramaphosa endorsed his kingship.

President Ramaphosa’s recognition of King Misizulu to head the Zulu monarchy follows a recent ruling by the Pietermaritzburg High Court that the 47-year-old “is the undisputed successor to the throne.”

This will put an end to a controversial succession battle following the death of King Misizulu’s father, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu who died in March 2021.

The Zulu throne had been a subject of fierce contention after a faction of the Zulu royal family led by Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu, sister to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, dismissed King Misuzulu’s recognition as their king, arguing that he was not a suitable candidate to lead the Zulu, a nation of 12 million people who are South Africa’s largest ethnic group.

But, with the High Court ruling, as well as President Ramaphosa’s endorsement,  King Misuzulu will take over as the new head of the monarchy as per the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act.

Before making his proclamation, the South African Head of State had held “consultations with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.”

“The assumption of the throne by His Majesty King Misuzulu Zulu is a moment of great significance in the proud and distinguished history of AmaZulu,” said President Ramaphosa.

“His Majesty is the successor to a long line of revered monarchs, who fought with great courage and determination for the welfare and security of their people.

“I join all the people of South Africa in wishing His Majesty King Misuzulu Zulu a long and prosperous reign,” he added.

There have been no indications, so far, of intention to contest the High Court and the President’s recognition of King Misuzulu’s ascendancy to the throne.

In October 2021, the faction made damning allegations saying that the late King Goodwill Zwelithini had fathered two love children from incestuous relationships with his cousins, which were neither denied nor admitted by the royal house.

The royal family faction also claimed King Misizulu had sired two children with one of his late mother’s domestic helpers, and that he was also a “drunk” and a “party animal.”

The faction opposed to King Misizulu’s ascendency to the kingship included the late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s first wife, Queen Winifred Dlamini-Zulu, her two daughters, Princess Ntandoyenkosi Zulu and Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, as well as Prince Mbonisi Zulu, the late King’s brother.

Their three separate applications at the Pietermaritzburg High Court were thrown out by KwaZulu-Natal Deputy Judge President Isaac Madondo two weeks ago.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikhalala backed the President’s recognition, saying it will now put an end to the fight for the Zulu throne. 

AFP

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