BACKERS of the Zulu kingdom presented the strongest defence yet of Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini's status, saying "no other monarch" will be recognised.

Premier Zweli Mkhize and the traditional prime minister of the Zulu king, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, told thousands of people gathered at KwaDukuza to commemorate King Shaka Day at the weekend that Zwelithini would not be challenged.

The move comes after a controversial bid by five provincial amakhosi to have themselves declared fully fledged monarchs.

Inkosi Melizwe Dlamini of the eNhlangwini clan in southern KwaZulu-Natal, who is a frontrunner in a kingship bid, filed papers with the Pretoria high court in an attempt to be accorded the same status as Zwelithini and to have his clan declared a kingdom.

Dlamini's bid for kingship will be heard by the court, where he has lodged papers seeking to force the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims to pronounce its position on his claim.

The court will tomorrow consider an application lodged by Dlamini to force the commission to declare its position on his claim for kingship.

Commission chief executive Mpho Mokake confirmed that Dlamini had served them with papers, and said the commission would oppose the application.

But at the King Shaka Day commemoration those backing Zwelithini's kingdom warned Dlamini that they would not have another king in the province.

Mkhize said: "As the situation stands there is only one monarch. While we are aware there might be other kings in different provinces, KwaZulu-Natal has only one."

Mkhize said the position that a monarch had been inherited existed in the history of the region.

"It's not a position that money can buy or can be achieved through a dream or romantic aspiration as in fairy tales."

He said the monarch in the province was defined in terms of legislation, not on the basis of self-aggrandisement.

"Though there are many descendants of the Dlamini clan, the head of the clan is the Ngwenyama of Swaziland, Mswati III. We know no other kingdom of the Dlaminipeople," he said.

Mkhize urged people in the province to remain calm to create a peaceful and prosperous province.

Buthelezi said KwaZulu-Natal was the only province with a monarch. Zwelithini was the glue that kept the Zulu nation together.

"The Zulu nation was made strong by King Shaka and history dictates that there is one kingdom," he said.

Mkhize also cautioned amakhosi not to refer to themselves as "His Majesty".

"This is against the protocol and confuses genuine people who otherwise are loyal to their amakhosi."

He said King Shaka Day was a mark of significance of Shaka's achievements as a ruler in uniting people.