King empire

South Africa’s Zulu nation to host new king’s celebration

KWANONGOMA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa’s ethnic Zulu nation is preparing to hold a coronation event for its traditional new king amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart.

KWANONGOMA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa’s ethnic Zulu nation is preparing to hold a coronation event for its traditional new king amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart.

King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini who died in March last year, will undergo the traditional ritual known as ukungena esibayeni (entry into the royal village) on Saturday to mark his installation as a new leader of the Zulu nation.

The Zulu ethnic group is the largest in South Africa with over 12 million people who are mainly located in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zulu nation is historically credited with leading fierce resistance to British colonialism under King Shaka Zulu from 1816 to 1828.

The ceremony is expected to bring together thousands of Zulus, including members of the royal family, traditional leaders from other ethnic groups and members of the Zulu nation.

It will continue despite protests from some members of the royal family who insist that Misuzulu is not the rightful heir to the throne.

Misuzulu is Zwelithini’s eldest son with his third wife, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, who is said to enjoy high status among his six wives as she was born of the royal house of Eswatini (formerly known as the name of Swaziland), the last remaining absolute. monarchy in Africa.

Queen Dlamini-Zulu held the title of regent of the Zulu nation after her husband’s death, but died about a month later, naming her eldest son Misuzulu as successor in her will.

However, some members of the royal family oppose Misuzulu as successor, instead recognizing his older brother, Simagade Zulu ka Zwelithini, as the rightful heir.

Last weekend, the rival faction of the family held the ukungena esibayeni ceremony for Simagade even though it was not recognized by the rest of the royal family elders who support Misuzulu as the rightful king.

To further complicate the situation, Zwelithini’s three brothers held a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday where they announced that another of their brothers, Buzabazi kaZwelithini, was their preferred heir to the throne.

The late king is said to have fathered 28 children with his six wives.

The South African government recognizes Misuzulu as the rightful heir to the throne and is preparing to award him a certificate of recognition on a date yet to be determined.

The position of King of the Zulu Nation is influential in KwaZulu-Natal Province as the custodian of the ethnic group’s traditional customs.

The King also exercises control over large tracts of land, estimated at 30% of KwaZulu-Natal or 10,810 square miles, through the Ingonyama Trust of which he is the sole trustee.

Mogomotsi Magome, The Associated Press