South Africa: New Zulu King Crowned

It was truly a coronation fit for a king at Moses Mabhida Stadium where thousands gathered during the handing over of the certificate of recognition by President Cyril Ramaphosa to Zulu King Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini on Saturday.

An estimated 48,000 people attended the spectacle – including former heads of state, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, and Ian Khama, erstwhile president of Botswana.

Maidens clad in traditional gear ululated as amabutho dashed up and down the stadium chanting traditional songs, welding sticks, spears, and shields, made of cowhide.

King Misuzulu, who’s the 9th king of the 11-million-strong Zulu nation entered the stadium to wild cheering and ululation.

Addressing the crowd, King Misuzulu thanked those who have stood with him throughout his long journey to the throne.

The King has been embroiled in a nasty feud over the throne as some in the royal family have challenged his right to the throne.

Among them is his half-brother Prince Simakade, who believes he is the right heir to the throne.

“I am grateful for your support. I am immensely grateful for their support,” he said to the thundering shout of “Bayede”.

He then turned to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, thanking him for the role he has played as the prime minister of the Zulu monarch.

“You have been my pillar from the start,” said King Misuzulu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was booed briefly, wished the Zulu nation prosperity under King Misuzulu.

Buthelezi, who has stuck with King Misuzulu through tough times, said he was confident that King Misuzulu would rid the Zulu nation of its woes – including poverty.

King Misuzulu would fix what has been “broken” in the Zulu nation, said Buthelezi.

King Misuzulu presented his guests with gifts is now dishing presents to his guests.

He also said the Ingonyama Trust which falls under him should work with the government in developing the rural areas of KZN.

The tension was visible between Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki at King Misuzulu Sinqobile kaZwelithini’s coronation in Moses Mabhida stadium, so much so that the former president barely spoke to each other in the VIP section.

They were separated by only one seat.

King Misuzulu’s uncle King Mswati III also addressed the crowd and wished his nephew well on his journey as King.

The coronation was a formality as King Misuzulu was already on the throne.

He took the powerful throne when he performed the crucial entering of the kraal ritual in August.