A faction of the AmaZulu royal family opposed to King Misizulu kaZwelithini has lambasted the prime minister of the Zulu nation, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, amid the ongoing battle for the Zulu throne.
Zulu royal family battle
The faction has accused Buthelezi of allegedly excluding some family members from this weekend’s cleansing ceremony to mark the official end of the mourning period for the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.
The king died in March last year at age 72, after 50 years on the throne.
To mark the end of the mourning period, the ritual hunt and ihlambo (cleansing ceremony) will take place this weekend at KwaKhangelamankengane palace in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The rituals will be performed after the other faction of the royal household organised a cleansing ceremony last year without informing King Misuzulu, something which Buthelezi has denounced publicly.
‘Usurpation of the throne’
In a strongly-worded statement on Saturday, the half-brother of the late king, Prince Mxolisi Zulu, accused Buthelezi of excluding “all the direct descendants of the Zulu royal lineage of all the previous Zulu Kings and core family members” from the decision-making process about the cleansing ceremonies.
“The division within the family is advantageous to him as it allows for him to continue to be in the forefront of the monarchy. He has in the past some seventeen years ago demonstrated such divisive behaviour.
“Such behaviour by him only demonstrates an indirect usurpation of the throne,” Prince Zulu said.
He said when the queens, the late king’s wives, concluded on ceremonies to be observed after his passing, Buthelezi “hastily dismisses such ceremonies”.
The prince said Buthelezi’s utterances about last year’s cleansing ceremony created further division in the royal family and confusion in the Zulu nation.
He said this was a “blatant disrespect” to the legacy of King Zwelithini.
“His actions insinuate a tug of war exists within the royal house, however, this is only his creation through his dictatorship approach to royal matters. This tactic he adopted as early as June 2021 three months after the passing of his majesty.
“All ceremonial rituals for the late king are held at eNaleni/KwaKhethomthandayo Palace. At the IHlambo (hunting ceremony and cleansing of the King’s spear and weapons) he interfered; at the one-year remembrance church service he interfered.”
The faction of the royal family further insisted that at a meeting held at KwaKhethomthandayo Palace, also in Nongoma, a decision was taken on ceremonies still to be observed for the late king.
“The disregard shown towards the queens and children of his majesty who have lost a husband and a father is disheartening. Their loss is not only personal to them but to the Zulu nation too, who have lost their king.
“The very nation that is now being brainwashed into believing that the family is wrongfully observing sacred rituals in honour of his majesty.”
The faction invited all chiefs, regiments, Zulu maidens and their leaders to their cleansing ceremony to be held on 2 July at KwaKhethomthandayo Palace.
“This is the final ritual to be observed in honour of his majesty after his passing,” the statement concluded.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe