Debate on who will rule the Zulu Kingdom continues

The mood was sombre as the five living wives of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini gathered at his homestead to honour the one-year anniversary of his death.

A screenshot of Queen Mantfombi Ladlamini-Zulu and the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: SABC News.

KHETHOM’THANDAYO - The mood was sombre as the five living wives of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini gathered at his homestead of Khethom’thandayo along with a delegation of different clergy heads to honour the one-year anniversary of his death.

The family called it a cleansing of the throne ceremony. Although not direct, many of the prayers given by the clergy were riddled with undertones and biblical references of who had the final say on who should be king of the Zulu nation.

Since King Zwelithini’s passing last year, the kingdom has been split into factions - one in support of the king-in-waiting Misuzulu Zulu and another supporting his brothers Prince Simakade and Prince Buzabazi as potential contenders to replace the monarchy.

The two contenders for the throne were flanked by support from other princes and princesses, signalling a strong support base for a continued debate by the Zulu Royal Kingdom on who they would support as their favoured successor for the title of King of the Zulus.

Last year it was revealed that King Zwelithini, in his last will and testament, appointed his third and Great Wife Queen Mantombfi Shiyiwe Dlamini-Zulu, as regent until a new king announcement by the royal household.

Dlamini-Zulu became Great Wife because of her royal blood as daughter of King Sobhuza of Eswatini and Princess Manoni. Her union to King Zwelithini came with the condition and agreement that her male children would be first in line of succession to the throne upon his death.

In her will she named her first born son, Zulu, for consideration for the throne.

This is despite the late queen having raised the older Prince Simakade Zulu in her royal home, who many corridor discussions have suggested should have been considered for the title of king.

Prince Mbonisi Zulu, brother to the late King Zwelithini, would not be drawn into the succession debate, and on why the Royals had two separate events on the same day commentating the late king.

“The late wives of the king gathered here today [Saturday] in his memory and requested a prayer for peace and unity in the Zulu Royal Kingdom.

“We will not be making any announcement on who the royal family has chosen as the successor to the late king until we have gathered as a family and discuss as a collective who that will be,” said Zulu.