Meeting mooted over royal spat drama

Thulasizwe Buthelezi’s position as prime minister to the Zulu nation and to the king is under the spotlight. Picture: Facebook

Thulasizwe Buthelezi’s position as prime minister to the Zulu nation and to the king is under the spotlight. Picture: Facebook

Published Mar 22, 2024


Durban — The Zulu royal family has proposed an urgent meeting with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial cabinet amid rising tension between the ANC and King Misuzulu’s traditional Prime Minister Thulasizwe Buthelezi.

The call for a meeting appears to be prompted by the ANC's insistence that the prime minister's position never existed and the government would never recognise it since it was unconstitutional.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, the ANC in the province backed its chairperson Siboniso Duma for grabbing a microphone from Buthelezi during the 110th commemoration of King Dinuzulu’s demise in 1913. Quoting several acts before and after 1994, ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said even the KwaZulu government under the late Traditional prime minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi did not see the need to include the prime minister's position in the many acts that were passed to govern traditional leadership.

He also pointed out that even under an IFP-led provincial government the position remained outside legislation. Mtolo said that the ANC found it strange that attempts to include the position in the act began only after the ANC took over in 2004. The ANC also announced that on Friday (today), accompanied by the House of Traditional Leaders, it would accompany Duma to tender his apology to the king. The ruling party said that the provincial party chairperson (Duma) had already apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube for disciplining Buthelezi at the event in their presence.

Speaking on behalf of King Misuzulu, Prince Simphiwe Zulu told the Daily News on Thursday that the royal family and various amakhosi had met in Ulundi on Wednesday, and resolved that a meeting between the cabinet and the royal family was urgently needed to resolve the crisis.

Zulu said the royal family and the amakhosi felt that the meeting was crucial for both institutions to clarify their operations to end the confusion that was in the public domain.

“Today, Thursday, a delegation from the royal family was to meet with Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Bongi Sithole and Arts and Culture MEC Ntuthuko Mahlaba, to prepare for the cabinet meeting. We believe these problems are as a result of confusion over the roles to be played by both institutions in governing the province,” said the prince.

In a clip that’s become the subject of public debate, Duma who is also Economic Development and Tourism MEC, was seen grabbing a microphone just before Buthelezi attacked the ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo. Although Buthelezi did not finish what he wanted to say, rumours are that he wanted to tell the president how disrespectful Mtolo was to the king.

The Duma-Buthelezi drama led to an attack which left several spectators injured and hospitalised. It is believed that they were attacked by Zulu regiments with spears.

During a media briefing on Tuesday, the leaders of the Amabutho distanced themselves from the attack, saying those who attacked the people were hooligans. They also vowed to hunt the culprits down and reprimand them for their unacceptable behaviour. The deputy provincial regiments commander, Induna Sipho Mhlongo, announced that they would visit the victims to express their support. The House of Traditional Leaders has called for tolerance across the political spectrum as the campaign for elections intensify.

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