Zulu kingdom gets new King
Prince Misuzulu, 46, has been formally named as the next Zulu king.
The young prince, who is the eldest son of South Africa’s late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, was named in the will of Zulu Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu – his mother – who died unexpectedly last week.
His appointment wasn’t without drama and some family members openly voiced disapproval on Friday and the prince had to be led away by armed security.
However, in a televised reading on Friday evening, Prince Misuzulu was announced as the next Zulu king at the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace.
Later on on Saturday, the family held a press conference to say he had their support. Zulu traditional prime minister Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi also assured reporters the family had since come together and pledged their loyalty to the new king.
The Zulu throne does not have formal political power and the monarch’s role within broader South African society is largely ceremonial but the throne remains hugely influential, and has a yearly taxpayer-funded budget of more than $4.9m (£3.5m).
King Zwelithini, who died from diabetes-related complications at the age of 72, in march had six wives and at least 26 children. He picked Queen Dlamini-Zulu as his successor because she was the only wife with royal blood.
The queen’s death, at 65, whose cause is yet to be announced triggered a power struggle over the succession. The royal family has dismissed rumours that she was poisoned as a misunderstanding.
Prince Misuzulu is now expected to lead the Zulu nation of about 11 million people.