Mangosuthu Buthelezi blasts royal siblings

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Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi is calling for calm as the Zulu Royals prepare to bury the queen
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi is calling for calm as the Zulu Royals prepare to bury the queen
Jabulani Langa

Fights over the will, talks of poison, accusations of illegitimacy and issues over the hierarchy. 

It might seem like an episode of Game Of Thrones but it's just another day in the fight for the throne of the Zulu nation.

When King Goodwill Zwelithini died, queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu was appointed regent last month according to the wishes of her husband. 

She then passed away in the hospital on Thursday, 29 March and since then, the family has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. 

King Zwelithini's siblings, Prince Mbonisi and Princess Thembi held an impromptu press conference recently to clear up what they said were misconceptions.

They said they were being accused of poisoning the queen, which they refuted. Now Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has lambasted the siblings in a strongly worded statement. 

According to Mangosuthu, the siblings believe he is blaming them for poising the Queen regent due to a statement he made.

"It is not clear who is blaming them, or why they feel they are being blamed at all. But it is clear that they want to paint me as the author of the rumours that Her Majesty was poisoned. They know very well that this is not the case," he says.

"The cause of Her Majesty’s death is yet to be revealed. Her doctors ordered a post-mortem, which has been done, and the results will be known in two weeks’ time. I would never speculate, and indeed I did not speculate on the cause of death." 

Read more | Zulu Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, Regent of the Zulu Nation, has died

He didn't hold back. 

“Princess Thembi claimed that they had excluded me from an earlier secret meeting that they convened because I apparently do not give them space to freely discuss matters. I find this strange when during an official family meeting held at the Palace, in the presence of the Regent, I literally pleaded with Princess Thembi to say what was in her heart. She then spoke frankly, for which I complimented her.”

Mangosuthu then called out Princess Thembi for being "mendacious and, diverting attention from the fact that they never even informed Her Majesty the Regent about the meeting, or the Queen Mother, or any other senior member of the Royal Family". 

Read more | King Zwelithini's wife 'demands 50% of estate'

Mangosuthi took time to clarify the relations in the royal family and why the siblings do not have a say in the family matters.  

"A new voice in the midst of all this is Prince Thokozani who has suddenly emerged as a vociferous critic of the Royal Family’s decisions. I am shocked by his comments at today’s impromptu press conference, as he has no authority to question the Royal Family. He is someone whom we have always known as Mr Msweli, the son of Prince Penuel, born out of wedlock. He did not grow up in the Royal Court.

"Indeed, Prince Mbonisi likewise did not grow up in the Royal Court. His mother was not married to King Cyprian. Knowing this, we all applauded the way His Majesty King Zwelithini embraced him and used him to run errands," he says. 

"Princess Thembi, despite being a sister of the late King, is herself an illegitimate child of my cousin, King Cyprian. Moreover, as a married woman, she has no status to drive programmes as she is doing. She has every right to participate, but not in the manner she is now doing."

This is why they are not speaking on behalf of the Zulu Royal Family, Mangosuthu says. 

"They are speaking on their own behalf. Moreover, what they are saying is deeply disrespectful to the Royal Family, to the late Regent and to the late King, for whom we are still in mourning."

"Perhaps most distressing of all is the claim that Her Majesty the Regent was somehow shoved down their throats. His Majesty the King appointed Her Majesty as Regent. If they have a quarrel, it is with the King himself." 

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