Internal Affairs

Mega party as South Africa crowns new Zulu king

DURBAN— South Africa’s new Zulu King was formally declared the head of the country’s most influential traditional monarchy at a colourful ceremony presided over by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday.

Ramaphosa handed over the giant framed certificate to formally recognise the 48-year-old new ruler Misuzulu Zulu before tens of thousands of people in colourful regalia gathered at a huge soccer stadium in the coastal city of Durban.

Misuzulu Zulu ascended the throne once held by his late father, Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March 2021 — after more than 50 years on the throne.

The crowning which followed a traditional coronation ceremony in August, is the first South Africa has witnessed in more than half a century.

Although the title of king does not bestow executive power, the monarchs wield great moral influence over more than 11 million Zulus, who make up nearly a fifth of South Africa’s population of 60 million people.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed government to work with King Misuzulu KaZwelithini to change the lives of the people, and transform rural areas into places of development and prosperity.

“Our traditional leaders are the custodians of the cultures, customs and traditions that make us who we are,” Ramaphosa said.

“I do so to fulfil my duty under our Constitution, which affirms the role of our kings and queens. Today, we are here to witness a new epoch in the history of AmaZulu.

“We pray that His Majesty’s reign will be a long and glorious one. May your hand be guided by the Almighty. May your rule be one of justice, compassion, peace and unity.

“May your rule be one of justice, compassion, peace and unity. Your Majesty, Hlanga Lomhlabathi, your people look to you to lead them to a bright, glorious new future. It is a heavy responsibility, but also an illustrious one,” Ramaphosa said.

“Millions of our people are unemployed and live in poverty. Substance abuse, crime and the abuse of women, children and the elderly are devastating our communities. Many of our rural areas suffer from poor services and lack of jobs. Land reform remains a huge problem.

“As government at local, provincial and national level, we continue to make several interventions to address all these challenges and will want to rely on you, Your Majesty, to work with us to address the problems that our people are facing on a daily basis.”

Ramaphosa said King Misuzulu is a leader who enjoys the respect and confidence of the people. “A leader that governs with compassion and kindness, especially to the most vulnerable, is loved.”

Addressing the ceremony, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said today marks a time, as the province, they finally leave behind the pain they felt as a nation when they lost in quick succession their beloved King Zwelithini and the Regent Queen Mantfombi.

“You are the hope and father of the Zulu nation, irrespective of political affiliations or religious dominations. We are particularly grateful that Your Majesty is following firmly on the late father’s footsteps in preaching unity among the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

“The provincial government will continue to honour the throne by providing all the necessary support to the Royal Family and the institution of traditional leadership,” she said.

The certificate handover ceremony of the ninth AmaZulu King takes place after King Misuzulu ascended to the throne following the passing of his father, King Goodwill Zwelithini Zulu in March last year and the subsequent passing away of the Regent Queen Mantfombi Dlamini in 2021.

Misuzulu was recognised as the King-elect of the Zulu nation by President Cyril Ramaphosa after consultation with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the then Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.

Today’s ceremony was attended by Cabinet Ministers, politicians and dignitaries from other countries.

Among the delegates were King Mswati III of Africa’s last absolute monarchy, Eswatini, who is also an uncle to the new Zulu king. Two of South Africa’s ex-presidents, Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki, were also present.

Zulu kings are descendants of King Shaka, the 19th-century leader still revered for having united a large swathe of the country as the Zulu nation, which fought bloody battles against the British colonisers.

King Zwelithini, who died after more than 50 years in charge, left six wives and at least 28 children.

Misuzulu is the first son of Zwelithini’s third wife, who he designated as regent in his will. The queen however died suddenly a month after Zwelithini, leaving a will naming Misuzulu as the next king.

Source: Nam News Network