South Africa: On Loyalty to King Misuzulu Kazwelithini

press release

Statement by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP

Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation

This morning, I was asked by His Royal Highness Prince Simakade Zulu to read a statement on his behalf, clarifying his position following public speculation that he intends contesting the throne. He has asked me to read this statement to make it clear that he has no such intention, and that he gives his full support and loyalty to His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

I trust that this puts the matter to rest.

I must take this opportunity to appeal to the media to please be careful in giving credence and coverage to every voice that pontificates on matters of the Royal Family. It becomes misleading and is really nothing short of interference when those outside the family pose opinions as fact.

We note, for instance, the wide speculation on social media that has been picked up by the traditional media, that His Majesty the King will be compelled to marry before he can issue royal decrees. There is no basis for this claim.

Indeed, the founder of the Zulu monarchy, King Shaka kaSenzangakhona was himself a celibate by choice, in that he voluntarily chose not to marry. Likewise, King Dingane was celibate by choice, yet he gave orders and declared wars.

It was only the apartheid regime that insisted that AmaKhosi and Kings must marry before taking over their positions. In my case, for instance, they sought to do everything possible to prevent me from taking my position as Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan, because I was a member of the ANC. They posed one obstacle after the next, even insisting that I get married.

Despite choosing to marry my wife, Princess Irene Thandekile, in July 1952, the apartheid Government still delayed and only installed me almost a year later.

The present speculation that His Majesty will be compelled to marry before he is installed suggests that our present Government wishes to mimic what the apartheid regime imposed on our people. This is an inflammatory accusation which can cause deep distress.

I am not saying, of course, that the King will not get married before he takes the throne. It is quite possible that he may choose to marry. But there is no reason why his not being married could stop him from ascending to the throne or issuing royal decrees.

I hope that this will make it clear just how damaging it can be when the media gives space to every uninformed opinion. While matters of the Royal Family are of public interest, it is unfair to allow anyone and everyone to dictate what the Royal Family should do.

I also note a report this morning in The Witness stating that the Minister of Police, the Hon. Minister Bheki Cele, and former President Jacob Zuma are allegedly mediating what is said to be a conflict in the Royal Family. The Witness claims that they are doing so on instruction from "the ANC top brass".

As far as His Majesty the King and the Royal Family are concerned, mediation is unnecessary. Following His Majesty the King's appointment last Friday, the Honourable Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and the Honourable Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs approached me with an offer to mediate in the Royal Family. I advised that I would take this matter to His Majesty the King.

Upon consultation with His Majesty, both he and the Queen Mother, Queen Mayvis (maZungu) asked that I thank the Premier and the Minister for their offer, but that at the moment they feel quite able to sort out their own problems without seeking any outside help. I conveyed this to the Premier, and His Majesty the King spoke to the Premier as well, on my phone.

Perhaps having read the statement by Prince Simakade Zulu, it will be clear now that there is no dispute at present over the throne. While Prince Simakade was posed in the media as a contender to the throne, he, like all of us, welcomes the reign of His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

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