The Pretoria High Court has made a bold declaration, ruling that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s official recognition of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the Zulu nation’s ruler is unlawful and invalid. This decision comes after a legal battle within the royal family to determine the rightful heir to the throne. Prince Simakade Zulu, the brother of Misuzulu, has confidently asserted his claim to the throne, adding an intriguing twist to the royal saga.

By Staff Writer

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has declared President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recognition of Zulu monarch Misuzulu kaZwelithini as invalid.

This ruling was issued in a judgment on Monday following a joint challenge to the king’s installation by a group of royals, led by his uncle, Mbonisi, and his half-brother, Simakade. Both individuals contested the legitimacy of Misuzulu’s appointment by Ramaphosa in March 2022, arguing that the president did not comply with the provisions of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act when making the appointment.

Last year, King Misuzulu took the reins of the Zulu nation after the passing of his parents, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Queen Regent Mantfombi, who left this world within months of each other in 2021.

Ramaphosa stated in court that his decision to grant the certificate to King Misuzulu was based on rational grounds, thereby facilitating his coronation in October 2022. He also informed the court that he had relied on a ruling from the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg in February 2022, where Judge Isaac Madondo dismissed an application by Prince Mbonisi to halt King Misuzulu’s coronation.

The application was made on the basis that King Misuzulu’s nomination was invalid and that there was a pending dispute that needed resolution before the coronation.

The legal representatives of Prince Simakade requested that the meeting, in which the decision to appoint Misuzulu as king was made, be declared invalid on the grounds that individuals not officially recognized as members of the Zulu royal family were present, which they deemed to be inappropriate.

Judge Norman Davis declared the decision to grant King Misuzulu a certificate of recognition as illegal and invalid and subsequently set it aside.

In his ruling, Judge Davis ruled that the acknowledgement of Misuzulu as the monarch of the Zulu nation was “unlawful and invalid and is hereby set aside”.

Furthermore, Judge Davis expressed the following: “The matter of the recognition of the Isilo of the AmaZulu is remitted to the first respondent (Ramaphosa), who is directed to act in terms of Sections 8(4) and 8(5) of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act 3 of 2019 and to appoint an investigative committee as contemplated in that Act to conduct an investigation and to provide a report in respect of allegations that the identification of the second respondent (Misuzulu) was not done in terms of customary laws and customs.

“The first respondent is ordered to pay the applicants’ costs of their applications, including the costs of two counsels, where employed.”

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