Eighty-year-old Mlindelwa Mtshali, who lives near King Zwelithini’s palace in Nongoma, may be echoing the nation’s sentiments when he calls for the Royal House to end the fighting.
“If they continue fighting like this, then the Zulu nation is as good as dead. They must be unified and lead their subjects,” said Mtshali.
He reminds the royals of the old proverb: “When two bulls fight, the grass suffers.”
The jostling for the throne at the Royal household started when King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu died in March. Then things became worse when Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, King Zwelithini’s wife, passed away last week after an illness that may be linked to an alleged poisoning that took place two years ago.
Madala Mtshali was 30 years old when King Zwelithini took over as a leader of the Zulu nation in 1971.
“The Zulu nation was united at that moment. There was no division,” he said.
He urged members of the Royal Household to talk to elderly people for guidance.
Bhekinkosi Buthelezi, 72, from Ulundi, agreed.
“In times of confusion like this, the Royal House must go back to the people who know the history of the Zulu nation and the Royal household,” said Buthelezi.
“We have always thrived when we were a unified nation.”
The next King of the Zulu nation will control the R71.3 million yearly budget from the KZN provincial government.
Also at stake is the three million hectares of land in the Ingonyama Trust, which is valued at more than a trillion rand.
The lack of succession planning has turned members of the Royal Household against each other.
When Queen Mantfombi died, Queen Sibongile Dlamini filed urgent court papers at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, seeking to inherit 50% of the late King Zwelithini’s estate.
It is said that King Zwelithini’s half-brother, Prince Mbonisi, should have taken over as Regent when the king died.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced on Monday that Queen Mantfombi will be buried in a private ceremony on Thursday, with a memorial service to follow on Friday.
Picture source: Pindula