The siblings of the late Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini are unhappy with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s handling of affairs in the royal household and have called on him to step aside.
The late King’s sister Princess Thembi Ndlovu and brother Prince Mbonisi Zulu, along with four other princes, spoke outside Khangela palace, after Buthelezi, the monarchy’s traditional prime minister, allegedly locked them out of a meeting.
They have accused Buthelezi of excluding them in key family discussions and creating divisions in the Zulu royal household. This is just a fraction of the drama that has unfolded following the passing of Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, the Regent of the Zulu nation, less than a week ago. She was King Zwelithini’s senior wife and the sister to Eswatini’s King Mswati.
Her death has given rise to tensions in the royal household including a court bid by Queen Sibongile Dlamini Zulu, the late King’s first wife, to challenge Queen Mantfombi’s appointment as Regent. She also wants half of the King’s estate.
Buthelezi was never King Zwelithini’s prime minister – Princess Thembi
Speaking on Monday, 3 May 2021, Princess Thembi slammed Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, accusing him of being a dictator.
“We want to meet with the Prince (Buthelezi) and tell him that he cannot throw us out of our own home because exactly what he is doing is expelling us from our own home and occupy it himself,” she said.
She further added that Buthelezi was not a legitimate prime minister of the monarchy.
“His time (as Zulu traditional prime minister) ended long ago. The reason why he is still in that position is because we respect him. We are told that he is the (traditional) prime minister of King Bhusha (King Cyprian Bhekuzulu, the father of King Goodwill Zwelithin), the King (Goodwill Zwelithini) never had a prime minister and the next one will appoint his own prime minister,” she said in isiZulu.
Speaking alongside KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala on Monday, 3 May 2021, at the KwaKhangelamankengane royal palace, Buthelezi bemoaned the ongoing tensions.
“The ructions that have taken place have depressed all of us, because these sideshows shame the royal family during this time of bereavement, when all of us should be focused on the sadness that is taking place, which is the passing of the regent”
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi