AP

South Africa’s Zulu nation to host celebration for new king

Aug 18, 2022, 3:39 PM | Updated: Aug 19, 2022, 3:40 am

FILE — King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, centre, stands flanked by fellow warriors in traditional dres...

FILE — King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, centre, stands flanked by fellow warriors in traditional dress at the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace, during a ceremony, in Nongoma, South Africa, Friday May 7, 2021. South Africa's ethnic Zulu nation will on Saturday Aug. 20, 2022 host a coronation event for King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

KWANONGOMA, South Africa (AP) — South Africa’s ethnic Zulu nation is preparing to host a coronation event for its new traditional king amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart.

King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, a son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini who died in March last year, will on Saturday undergo the traditional ritual known as ukungena esibayeni (entering the royal village) to mark his installation as the new leader of the Zulu nation.

The Zulu ethnic group is South Africa’s largest with more than 12 million people who are mainly located in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zulu nation is historically recognized as having waged fierce resistance to British colonialism under King Shaka Zulu from 1816 to 1828.

The ceremony is expected to be attended by thousands of Zulu people including members of the royal family, traditional leaders of other ethnic groups and members of the Zulu nation.

It will proceed despite challenges from some members of the royal family who insist that Misuzulu is not the rightful heir to the throne.

Misuzulu is the eldest son of Zwelithini with his third wife Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, who is said to enjoy an elevated status among his six wives as she was born from the royal house of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), the last remaining absolute monarchy in Africa.

Queen Dlamini-Zulu held the title of Regent of the Zulu nation after her husband’s death but died about a month later, naming her eldest son Misuzulu as the successor in her will.

However, some members of the royal family are opposed to Misuzulu as the successor, recognizing his eldest brother, Simagade Zulu ka Zwelithini, as the rightful heir instead.

Last weekend, the rival family faction held the ukungena esibayeni ceremony for Simagade even though it was not recognized by the rest of the royal family’s elders who support Misuzulu as the rightful king.

To further confuse the situation, on Thursday Zwelithini’s three brothers held a press conference in Johannesburg where they announced another of their brothers, Buzabazi kaZwelithini, as their preferred heir to the throne.

The late king reportedly fathered 28 children with his six wives.

The South African government recognizes Misuzulu as the rightful heir to the throne and is set to award him a recognition certificate at a date still to be determined.

The position of King of the Zulu nation is an influential one in KwaZulu-Natal province as a custodian of the ethnic group’s traditional customs.

The king also wields control over vast swathes of land, estimated at 30% of KwaZulu-Natal or 10,810 square miles, through the Ingonyama Trust of which he is the sole trustee.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

23 hours ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

8 days ago

South Africa’s Zulu nation to host celebration for new king