Succession process starts now mourning is over, says Zwelithini's sister

King Goodwill Zwelithini's oldest surviving son, Misuzulu, has been named as his heir.
King Goodwill Zwelithini's oldest surviving son, Misuzulu, has been named as his heir.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The Zulu royal family announced on Saturday that it is ready to discuss succession.

While Prince Misuzulu, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini's firstborn son with the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, has been named as heir to the throne, a section of the family say the process is only beginning now.

Asked who the family wants to take over the throne, the king's sister, Princess Thembi Ndlovu, told a media briefing on Saturday at KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace: “My brother has many children.

“We go according to the law of who is the heir, how they ascend and how they are put on the throne. We have an appointment structure here at home.”

This week the family held a three-day cleansing ceremony to mark the end of the mourning period for Zwelithini, who died on March 12 from Covid-19.

The royal family confirmed on Saturday that a ritual hunt to cleanse Zwelithini's weapons went ahead in the absence of Prince Misuzulu, an act described as “treachery” by traditional prime minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

But the family said everyone was contacted and notified. Prince Mbonisi Zulu said “there was a message that [Misuzulu] is unwell but as a family we have protocol for how cleansing is done and I can assure the nation that we followed it accordingly”.

The royal family has been divided over who will become the new king but said on Saturday it is ready to move forward.

Princess Thembi said: “We said we are still in mourning, we will not be talking about succession. I am not saying who is wrong or right but we are following royal protocols.”

She said a meeting would now be arranged for the full royal family. “Our intention is not to fight but to speak in our voice as a family and this is the process of uniting. We are now free to even address the nation,” she added.

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