King's recognition ceremony demonstrates unity between state and traditional leaders, say royals

29 October 2022 - 12:11
Supporters of new amaZulu king Misuzulu kaZwelithini arrive ahead of the recognition ceremony at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Image: Rogan Ward/Reuters Supporters of new amaZulu king Misuzulu kaZwelithini arrive ahead of the recognition ceremony at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Attending the recognition certificate handover ceremony of the Zulu king gives the next generation of traditional leaders a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to etch their names in history.

This is the sentiment expressed by princes from the various royal houses attending the event at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, at which President Cyril Ramaphosa will recognise King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

Prince Zamanceku Faku from the Pondo traditional house of Qaukeni, in the Eastern Cape, said it showed the government realised the importance of traditional leadership.

“It’s very important because this is the first of its kind in our lifetime and we don’t know or wish to witness another one. We’ve always heard about it, but today we will get to witness with our own eyes the unity between the government and the current traditional leadership,” he said.

Prince Lucky Ndaba from the Shiyindlela Palace in Ntabamhlophe, eMhlungwini, said the only way to show appreciation for being able to witness this day was to show up for the event.

He said it gave this generation of traditional leaders a rare opportunity to be a part of the Zulu story, one that is greater then their houses.

“It’s important for us to be able to pass these stories to the next generation, if God decides to keep us long enough to be elders of our nations. That’s why we came here today. We also want to be part of the next great chapter of our story and be among those who helped write it,” he said.

On the importance of the certificate, he said it bridges the gap between the government and natural rulers and affords the king due respect.

“It’s very important for the government to co-operate with the traditional leadership because all of them — from the president, ministers and the likes — are on five-year terms but the status of a king is something you’re born with — it’s a divine rule. You rule until you die, so it’s important for government to bow before the king because that’s a divine rule.”

On disputes among royal family members, both princes said they were not alarmed because it was common when a king ascends to the throne.

“King Misuzulu is the chosen one. Disputes and challengers are nothing new. That’s the way it's always been” said Prince Faku.

Prince Ndaba said: “From their interviews we have seen that they don’t have a problem with him per se but they are aggrieved by how he was put onto the throne. They wanted to be consulted as family members but I think that was hard because the passing of King Zwelithini was quickly followed by that of Queen Regent Mantfombi and there must never be a vacuum in that position because we need a leader as a nation.

“We are hoping that the royal family will unite now as children of the same blood because everyone knows that the reigning king, Misuzulu kaZwelithini, is the rightful king.”