In a recent judgment, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recognition of Misuzulu KaZwelithini as the Zulu King was unlawful, finding flaws in the due process. The legal challenge was brought forward by Misuzulu’s brother, Prince Simakade Jackson Zulu, and the late King Zwelithini’s half-brother, Mbonisi Zulu, contesting the procedures used in appointing Misuzulu as the heir.
The Zulu royal house has been entangled in a succession dispute since the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini in March 2021, marked by a bitter family feud overshadowing Misuzulu’s crowning ceremony. President Ramaphosa is appealing the court’s decision, contending that the recognition was valid.
The court noted concerns over the fairness of the process, prompting an order for Ramaphosa to establish an investigative committee to address grievances within the broad Zulu royal family. Despite the ruling, King Misuzulu remains the identified heir.
The verdict has revived tensions among family factions vying for the throne, further complicated by the recent death of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who played a key role in declaring Misuzulu as the heir. The family lacks experienced elders to navigate the divisions.
President Ramaphosa urged unity within the royal family and emphasized the importance of allowing due processes to unfold without escalating tensions. The ruling highlights the complexity of the Zulu succession and the challenges in reconciling competing interests within the royal lineage. The court’s call for an investigative committee signals a potential path towards resolution, but the power struggle for the Zulu throne continues to unfold.