Prince heads to Pretoria court to battle for Zulu king position

A member of the Zulu royal family remains adamant he is the legitimate king.

The Pretoria High Court will next week hear an application by Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s rival, Prince Smakade, who is challenging the 2021 appointment of the reigning Zulu monarch.

Prince Smakade, who is part of a section of the Zulu royal family opposed to kaZwelithini, is arguing that the royal family processes were not followed when the current king was announced as a successor to late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, who died two years ago.

Shortly after kaZwelithini, who is the first-born son of the late king and his senior wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, was announced as his father’s successor, the late king’s first wife, Queen Sibongile Dlamini, went to court to challenge the will left behind by her late husband.

Among other things, King Zwelithini’s will stipulated that Queen Mantfombi should be announced as the regent should he die. Queen Mantfombi, who died a few weeks after King Zwelithini’s burial, left a will appointing King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the late king’s successor.

According to papers filed by Queen Sibongile Dlamini at the time, the decision to appoint Queen Mantfombi as regent and the subsequent announcement of King Misuzulu as the late king’s successor should be set aside on the basis that the late king’s will had been forged.

However, in March last year, the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed Queen Sibongile Dlamini’s application.

Following the failed court bid, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially recognised King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the legitimate ruler of the Zulu nation.

Decision challenged

However, Prince Smakade, who has since declared himself as the legitimate king of the Zulu nation, approached the Pretoria High Court to challenge Ramaphosa’s decision to recognise King Misuzulu as the ruler of the Zulu nation.

In his court papers, Smakade said the Zulu royal family should decide who the next king is, and not a will as done in the appointment of King Misuzulu.

But King Misuzulu is arguing that it is the king or the king regent who decides who the next king would be.

The case against King Misuzulu is being heard barely a month after the death of Zulu prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Buthelezi, who fought for the current king to be recognised as the legitimate ruler of the Zulu nation, argued that as the first-born son of the late King and his senior wife, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini was the legitimate heir to the throne.

King Misuzulu’s spokesperson Prince Afrika Zulu confirmed that the matter between His Majesty and Prince Smakade will be heard in the Pretoria High Court from Monday to Wednesday.

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