Zulu royal house squabbles over succession

Lungani Zungu

The once closely-guarded unity of the Zulu Royal Household is crumbling as royal family members square off over the rightful person to lead the family.

The death of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu in March and his third wife, Regent Queen Mantfombi Shiyiwe Dlamini Zulu on Thursday has pitted members of the royal family against one another. 

At stake is the R71,3 million yearly budget from the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and the more than 3 million hectares of Ingonyama Trust land, which is valued at more than a trillion rand.

King Zwelithini was the sole trustee of the land, and whoever takes over will automatically become the sole trustee.

Poor succession planning has been blamed for the bickering at the Royal Household over who should take the royal seat.

The family has been rocked by a court interdict over who is the rightful wife of the late King Zwelithini.

When King Zwelithini died, Queen Mantfombi took over as a Regent to lead the Zulu nation for three months until a king was appointed. 

Following her death, Queen Sibongile Dlamini (not related to Queen Mantfombi) filed urgent court papers at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, seeking to inherit 50% of late King Zwelithini’s estate.

It was also reported that Princess Ntandoyenkosi and Princess Ntombizosuthu claimed that King Zwelithini’s will in the royal family lawyer’s possession could be fraudulent and want to interdict its execution until the document is confirmed. 

Renowned cultural expert Zoza Shongwe told Scrolla.Africa that the eldest son of the first wife, who was born in the royal house, is always in line to be the next king.

In this case, Queen Mantfombi’s son Prince MisuZulu should take over the seat of power in the Royal House, according to Shongwe.

However, he stressed that the Royal Household was free to deal with the succession the way it deemed fit.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said he has submitted a request to President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a state funeral for Queen Mantfombi.

Prince Mbonisi Zulu said the Royal family will update the Zulu nation about the details of the funeral when they are finalised.

Picture source: Twitter


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