Businessman, fraudster not a real prince - KZN royals

2016-03-18 12:51
King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

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Durban – King Goodwill Zwelithini’s welcoming of convicted fraudster and KwaZulu-Natal businessman Ishwar Ramlutchman as a member of the royal family was merely a ceremonial gesture, the royal household said on Friday.

"He is not a prince. A prince is a king’s son and he is not Zwelithini’s son. It was just to accept him into our culture and extend his hand to other cultures because he is anti-racism,” royal household spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu said.

The Zululand Observer reported on Friday that Zwelithini last month appointed Ramlutchman as head of the Zulu army and head of the iziNyosi regiment. Ramlutchman received the honour during his 40th birthday celebrations in Umhlanga.

Ramlutchman was officially welcomed as "Prince Ishwar Ramlutchman Mabheka Zulu".

In 2013, the Richards Bay businessman was convicted on 21 counts of fraud and one of corruption. He paid a R500 000 fine after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the provincial public works department by using forged documents during a tender bidding process.

"Over the years, Ishwar has become an additional member of our family, and his commitment to and promotion of social cohesion, nature conservation and respect for everyone’s cultural heritage and religion has earned him our respect," Zwelithini was quoted as saying.

Ramlutchman said he would now be known and addressed as Prince Ishwar Rumlutchman Mabheka Zulu.

He said he was fascinated by Zulu culture, which he said was similar to Indian culture.

"Indians preserve and present their culture and so do the Zulus. When it comes to respect, the Zulu nation comes first and is outstanding and their family values should be replicated in communities.

"The Zulu nation needs to play a more prominent role in society, I personally have learnt a lot from his majesty."

Ramlutchman said he had known Zwelithini for more than 20 years.

"I attend all the cultural events and I can speak fluent isiZulu. It’s amazing that I am now the head of the regiments," said Ramlutchman.

Thulani Zulu said the honour did not mean Zwelithini had adopted Ramlutchman, or that he was head of a Zulu army.

"There are customary events of Umkhosi woSwola. This is known as the first fruit and one of the activities after slaughtering a cow is to welcome ibutho [regiments]. There are many regiment names and he is now a member of the iziNyosi.

"He is part of the regiment. There is no army in KwaZulu-Natal, so he cannot be the head of the army."

Zulu said Zwelithini always referred to people as his brothers, sisters, or sons.

"It does not mean you are royal. Ramlutchman is the same age as king’s son and that is why he refers to him as his son, as a sign of respect."

Read more on:    king goodwill zwelithini  |  durban  |  corruption  |  culture

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