“King Misuzulu is the rightful and only King of the Zulu nation.”
These were the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa as he officially handed over the certificate of recognition to King MisuZulu ka Zwelithini acknowledging him as the legitimate Zulu King on Saturday.
The words were met by a resounding round of applause from the packed 48 000 seater Moses Mabhida stadium.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube described the auspicious occasion as a “new season for the Zulu Nation.”
“There was a sorrowful time after the passing of the former king but the tears have turned into joy.
Now we turn a new page, the sun again shines on the Zulu nation as it again finally has a King,” said Dube-Ncube. Ramaphosa cautioned that the king was the latest in a long line of kings and as such the Zulu nation and the rest of South Africa was looking up to him for counsel and guidance.
“Your people look to you to lead them to a bright, glorious new future. It is a heavy responsibility, but also an illustrious one. “Your Majesty, you are the bond that binds the AmaZulu nation together,” said Ramaphosa.
The president said among the immediate challenges that the king had to deal with was the high unemployment and gender-based violence, among many challenges.
“Millions of our people are unemployed and live in poverty. Substance abuse, crime and the abuse of women, children and the elderly are devastating our communities.
“Many of our rural areas suffer from poor services and lack of jobs. Land reform remains a huge problem,” said Ramaphosa.
He vowed that government at local, provincial and national level would continue to make several interventions to address all these challenges but would also “want to rely on you, Your Majesty, to work with us to address the problems that our people are facing on a daily basis.”
The throne had been vacant since the passing of King Misuzulu’s father King Goodwill Zwelithini in March last year. After Zwelithini’s passing, Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu took over the reigns as the nation’s regent but also died suddenly in April 2021.
This led to contestation for the throne that has played itself out for over a year.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion included Deputy President David Mabuza, former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbheki, as well as former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.