IFP denies ‘Misuzulu capture’ by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, slams 'pedlars of lies'

20 May 2022 - 14:11
By Zimasa Matiwane
Mangosuthu Buthelezi is IFP president and traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu Mangosuthu Buthelezi is IFP president and traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch. File photo.

The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature has come out in defence of founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the effectiveness of his Zulu prime minister position. 

This comes after a tiff between Buthelezi and Prince Africa Zulu of Onkweni . 

The prince accused Buthelezi of “questioning” his appointment by King Misuzulu as his spokesperson, and said this was done to discredit him and his family, charging that Buthelezi wanted his son as the next prime minister to continue the Buthelezi dynasty’s control of the throne so he could rule from beyond the grave.

On Friday, IFP MPL Blessed Gwala said in a letter the party believes that to become the Zulu traditional prime minister, one needs an impeccable track record when it comes to understanding Zulu history, traditions and customs.

This comes after calls for King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini to expedite the process of appointing the next traditional prime minister to the Zulu nation. 

The prime minister role is entrusted with protecting the throne and providing wisdom on royal matters.

“First and foremost, the IFP is aware it is the prerogative of His Majesty the King to appoint his own traditional prime minister. No-one can dictate to the king how he must handle this process,” said Gwala. 

He said people are not appointed to the position just because they possess dazzling qualifications from prestigious tertiary institutions. 

“This role requires someone who is experienced and has an impeccable knowledge and understanding of Zulu history, indigenous African traditions and customs and the western judicial system. This person must be a reservoir of knowledge, be able to rise above politics and be able to stand firm in uniting the Zulu nation, even during challenging times,” he explained. 

Prince Misuzulu was recently declared the new king of the Zulu nation by Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu Prince Misuzulu was recently declared the new king of the Zulu nation by Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Gwala said the person cannot be afraid to speak the truth and take unpopular decisions, even when knowing it could result in hatred and insults. The position requires someone who cannot be easily hoodwinked or manipulated to please certain individuals at the expense of others. The person must believe in social cohesion. 

He said the IFP was not canvassing for its founder to be reappointed Zulu traditional prime minister, adding the Zulu nation and Zulu royal family are blessed to have elder persons like Prince Buthelezi, who have extensive experience in handling royal issues. 

Gwala said the position of Zulu traditional prime minister has always been held for longer by the Buthelezi clan than any other clan, mentioning Inkosi Ngqengelele Buthelezi, who was a senior adviser to King Shaka kaSenzangakhona alongside Ngomane. 

“Prince Buthelezi had held the position of Zulu traditional prime minister since his appointment by King Cyprian in 1954, taking over from his late father, Inkosi Mathole Buthelezi, who was appointed by King Solomon ka Dinuzulu in 1925 to serve as his traditional prime minister and uNdunankulu kaZulu. Prince Buthelezi has, for almost 70 years, served as traditional prime minister, even under our late king, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu,” said Gwala.

He said Buthelezi’s mother, Princess Magogo ka Dinuzulu, was sister to King Solomon ka Dinuzulu. 

“He grew up in the royal court at KwaDlamahlahla Palace, and his knowledge of matters involving the Zulu royal family goes back to the time of King Shaka the Great. 

 “His great-great grandfather, Ngqengelele Buthelezi, lived in the court of King Senzangakhona and tutored the royal children, including King Shaka. His great-grandfather, Mnyamana Buthelezi, was prime minister to King Cetshwayo and King Dinuzulu, and his father, Mathole Buthelezi, was prime minister to King Solomon.”

Gwala said inkosi Mathole Buthelezi played a significant role in diffusing tensions between senior Prince of KwaMinyamanzi, Prince Mnyayiza ka Ndabuko and Mankulumane ka Somaphunga, who was a senior induna of Osuthu. 

During the reconciliation process, said Gwala, Mankulumane returned to Mathole and with his eyes lowered in respect, said: “If I was a piece of steel, I would ask to be reshaped so that for many years I would be able to enjoy your wisdom.”

“The IFP believes the responsibilities of a traditional prime minister are not like preparing a dinner party. Not every Tom, Dick, and Harry can become a traditional prime minister. 

“It is not for fainthearted people, or those whose intention is self-enrichment and political expediency. Only quality leadership counts.”

 Gwala said he was writing the letter due to lies peddled in the public domain by some people who regard themselves as “royal family members”, with regards to the relationship between Buthelezi as Zulu traditional prime minister and King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini.

“It is mischievous and hogwash to claim Prince Buthelezi has ‘captured’ the king. It is also misleading to say Prince Buthelezi uses his position of being Zulu traditional prime minister to boost electoral support for the IFP,” he said. 

Gwala said Buthelezi has never stated he will not vacate the position of being traditional prime minister if he is asked to do so. 

“We urge people to desist from peddling lies about a man who has served the nation with integrity for an entire lifetime.”

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