It's 'treachery' if Zulu royal cleansing hunt went ahead in absence of 'heir to throne', says Buthelezi

King Goodwill Zwelithini's oldest surviving son, King Misuzulu Zulu.
King Goodwill Zwelithini's oldest surviving son, King Misuzulu Zulu.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi says he is "disturbed" by rumours that a ritual hunt to cleanse the late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu's weapons went ahead in the absence of the “heir to the throne'', which could "not be seen as anything short of treachery". 

The ritual hunt forms part of the cleansing ceremony by the Zulu royal family, which has been in mourning for three months after the death of King Zwelithini.

According to Buthelezi, the royal family agreed on successive dates for three cleansing ceremonies. However, King Misuzulu “subsequently became indisposed. which drew these dates into question”.

“This created a serious problem, as part of the ceremonies following the passing of a king is that of the washing of the king’s weapons. There is no way that this can take place when the heir himself is not present, for there is no-one else qualified to take the king’s weapons to be cleansed in his absence,” he said in a statement.

Buthelezi said he raised his concerns to the queen mother Mavis maZungu, who immediately made an announcement to the members of the royal family who were with her that the ritual hunt to cleanse the king’s weapons would not proceed.

The two ceremonies would be separated, and the hunt would only be done with the king’s authority and participation.

“However, we were disturbed by rumours yesterday that the ritual hunt would go ahead as part of the present cleansing ceremony, despite the decision not to do so,” Buthelezi explained.

He said it was therefore necessary to seek confirmation on whether any members of the royal family went against the decision announced by the queen mother.

“If this did indeed happen, His Majesty should be informed whether any regiments accompanied such hunt, as the leader of the regiments was instructed not to participate in unsanctioned activities,” he added.

Buthelezi urged members of the royal family to follow protocol and “to take the lead from the heir to the throne, His Majesty King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini”.

“Actions that undermine the stability of the royal family will undermine the stability of the Zulu nation. They could therefore not be seen as anything short of treachery,” he concluded.

While King Misuzulu has been widely accepted as the heir to the throne, two of the late king's daughters from KwaKhethomthandayo Palace launched an application for a court interdict seeking to stop the coronation of Prince Misuzulu Zulu as king of the Zulu nation.

Meanwhile, a media briefing will be held on Saturday at KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace “after observing the ceremony of cleansing”.


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