A senior member of the Zulu royal family close to King Misuzulu KaZwelithini and a pillar of his reign has been assassinated.
Prince Mbongiseni Milton Muntukaphiwana (MMM) Zulu was shot dead on Thursday near KwaNongoma in northern KwaZulu Natal.
Prince Zulu helped King Misuzulu to thwart a failed bid by Prince Simakade to take over the Zulu throne after the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini in March last year. The late Prince was one of King Misuzulu’s confidants and one of the senior Zulu princes.
He was also part of the inter-ministerial committee for King Misuzulu’s coronation. Reports indicate that Prince Zulu died on the scene while his bodyguard died upon arrival in one of the hospitals within Nongoma.
The shooting comes a day before the Umgidi ceremony that is set to take place at Enyokeni royal palace in Nongoma. Known as Triple M or Gudlane or Nandos to those who studied with him at the University of Zululand (Ongoye), Prince Zulu is a former IFP MP and he died while he was a councillor of the same party in the Zululand district municipality.
According to IOL, the late Prince has been described as a smooth operator who was dedicated to protecting the throne. He closely liaised with King Mswati III of Eswatini in helping King Misuzulu to adapt to his role of leading the Zulu nation.
In September, Induna Dumisani Khumalo – a close confidant of the reigning King – was shot and killed near his home after leaving the reed dance ceremony he had been attending at the Enyokeni royal palace.
A month later, an Induna of the Osuthu area where most palaces are located was also gunned down. During that assassination, three other people were shot dead.