A war of words is apparently raging between high-ranking officials in the Zulu kingdom with allegations of malicious conduct and a breach of trust between those involved.
The Zulu Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi hit back after a statement by Prince Africa Zulu, spokesperson for King Misuzulu kaZwelithini about the king’s health.
Shortly after Zulu announced that the king’s adviser had suddenly died, Buthelezi argued that the king himself was also treated in a hospital in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) after fears that he might have been poisoned.
Although Misuzulu has since denied the allegations that he was poisoned, Buthelezi says he was simply fulfilling his “duty” “by informing the nation that I received news from Prince Vumile, brother of King Mswati III, that King Misuzulu kaZwelithini be treated in a hospital in Eswatini, because he fell ill”.
“My statement on the matter merely reported on the disturbing information I received. Nowhere did I suggest that the king was seriously ill.”
Meanwhile, Zulu shared a video in which the king informs people that he is not sick and was not in the hospital. The king says he was merely undergoing routine tests.
He also said he had to break away from home to try and come to terms with the loss of his “right hand”. He therefore decided to travel to Eswatini where his uncle, King Mswati III, rules. The timing of this also coincides with his regular health check-ups.
Meanwhile, Buthelezi has been accused of “fostering an agenda and orchestrating bad news”, but he says the record on this must be set straight immediately.
“What Prince Africa is not telling the nation is that he approached the Swazis – specifically Prince Vumile – and asked them to help so that the King could leave KwaZulu-Natal at night, to get urgent medical help in Eswatini ,” says Buthelezi in his latest statement.
“It is also worrying that the king’s trip to Eswatini did not comply with the established protocols; such as notifying the royal family, the premier of the province or the head of state that he is going out of the country.”
No rift in relationship
Buthelezi says there is now widespread speculation that there is a rift in the relationship of trust between him and the king and that he acted maliciously by making the announcement about the king’s health.
“As in any other family, there will be disagreements about matters from time to time. This is normal, but there is certainly no growing rift between myself and the king,” he says.
“What hurts even more is that I am now presented as an enemy of the Zulu nation and our king.
“I continue to serve the nation at the king’s behest, as I did for almost seven decades under two kings before him.”