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Senior Zulu Prince ridicules weekend's royal cleansing ceremony as ‘comical’

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Durban - Three days before Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini leads the royal ihlambo (cleansing) ceremony, Prince Mbonisi Zulu says the event will be a "comical" one as core members of the Zulu royal family conducted it a year ago.

The Prince’s statement came after Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation, announced last week that this coming weekend the cleansing ceremony would be led by the King.

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The ceremony involves having a royal hunt and cleansing of the weapons of the late King.

Buthelezi, on the instructions of the King, said the ceremony would be in two-part. On Saturday, it will be a closed ceremony where the King and members of the royal family will go hunting for the required traditional game to conduct the ceremony, which marks the end of the mourning period.

On Sunday, the ceremony to be held at KwaKhangalemankengane Palace, which is located between Nongoma and Pongola, will be opened to the public.

However, Prince Mbonisi, one of the senior royal family members, is having none of it, saying only "core" members of the royal family can conduct it.

"The Zulu Royal family tediously notes the announcement made by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi of a cleansing ceremony, a ritual hunt and the washing of the King’s weapons set for the 25th and 26th June 2022, as per the instruction of Prince (he does not recognise him as King) Misuzulu. It is public knowledge that the Zulu Royal family has performed cleansings of the Royal households, the ritual hunt and the washing of the King’s weapons on the 18th of June 2021, where Prince Misuzulu excused himself from attending, claiming an illness. The ceremonies and rituals were led and performed by the core Zulu Royal family members.

“Matters that relate to family rituals and practices are and will always be the concern of the core Zulu Royal family only. The Royal family disputes statements made by Buthelezi that the rituals performed by the family were inappropriate and only a King can announce the dates for ihlambo. Prince Misuzulu and Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi may proceed with their comical ceremonies without involving the core Zulu Royal family members,” he said.

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Furthermore, Prince Mbonisi asked which hunting weapons would be washed by King Misuzulu as they have already washed them.

"It is imperative to pose the questions: •Which weapons will be washed in these pleasantry ceremonies they will be undertaking, as the King’s weapons have already been washed by the Zulu Royal family? Who will be heading these proceedings, as all Zulu Royal family rituals and ceremonies can only be led by senior Zulu Royal family members?" Prince Mbonisi asked in a statement issued late on Wednesday.

Prince Mbonisi, a half-brother of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, said they also don't recognise Misuzulu as King since they are challenging his recognition in two legal battles before the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Pretoria High Court (North Gauteng).

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"The core Zulu Royal family members have proceeded to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa to challenge Prince Misuzulu’s kingship by appealing the court judgement handed by Deputy Judge President Madondo in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to recognise Prince Misuzulu as King of the AmaZulu nation has also been challenged by the core Zulu Royal family members in the Pretoria High Court. The Zulu Royal family has a firm structure and governance guided," he said.

On Thursday, Prince Mbonisi and others will host a press conference in Durban to address the public about the same upcoming cleansing ceremony.

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