There was uncertainty on Sunday regarding the well-being of Zulu monarch King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, as his spokesperson refuted claims that he had been admitted to the hospital. King Misuzulu took over the throne last year following the passing of his father, King Goodwill Zwelithini, amidst a contentious dispute over the royal succession.

By Staff Reporter

The Zulu Royal House has refuted claims suggesting that King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, the monarch of the Zulu nation, is currently receiving medical treatment at a hospital. 

The House has categorically stated that these reports are baseless and that the King is in excellent health. Rumours regarding the alleged hospitalisation of the King had been circulating. 

On Saturday evening, the traditional Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi made a startling claim, suggesting that King Misuzulu may have been poisoned. The assertion has added a new layer of intrigue to the already complex situation surrounding the Zulu royal family.

According to the Royal House, there is an ongoing dissemination of defamatory and unsubstantiated allegations regarding the health of His Majesty, which it characterised as a “desperate narrative”.

The Zulu Royal House has stated that King Misuzulu kaZwelithini is in good health and only underwent minor check-ups following the sudden death of senior induna Douglas Xaba. On Sunday, the Royal House released a statement to reassure the nation that the King is in excellent health and is not currently hospitalised: “His Majesty wishes to once again reassure the nation that he remains in perfect health and is not currently admitted at any hospital.”

The statement follows the pronouncement made by the traditional Buthelezi, after the sudden death of Xaba, wherein he expressed the possibility of King Misuzulu being subjected to poisoning.

“It is with great concern that I have received news from HRH Prince Vumile, brother to His Majesty King Mswati III, that His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini is being treated in a hospital in eSwatini, having taken ill earlier today (Saturday).

“I am informed that His Majesty’s senior Induna, Mr Xaba, who stayed with the King, passed on quite suddenly and that there are suspicions that he was poisoned,” said Buthelezi.

Buthelezi claimed to have learned of King Misuzulu’s hospitalisation from Prince Vumile, King Mswati III’s brother.

“When His Majesty Misuzulu began to feel unwell, he suspected that he too may also have been poisoned. He immediately sought medical treatment in eSwatini. I am informed that His Majesty felt uncomfortable seeking treatment in South Africa, as his parents had both received treatment here [in SA] and subsequently died,” said Buthelezi.

The Royal House, however, quashed the rumours, stating that Misuzulu had only undergone a general check-up. They explained that this decision was influenced by the current context of pandemics, such as Covid-19, and other serious illnesses.

“His Majesty’s office decided to err on the side of caution and ensure that all possible impediments were tested, in order to mitigate against any untimely eventuality, given the reports of Mr Xaba’s sudden passing,” said the Royal House spokesperson Prince Africa Zulu.

Zulu further commented on the situation, suggesting the presence of a deliberate agenda and a desperate attempt to disseminate defamatory and unfounded allegations regarding the health of the King: “The motives are unclear at this stage; however, the king remains cognisant that the political environment is ripe, due to the approaching cycle of political elections. It seems the intention is to create the public perception that His Majesty, the King is unwell and unfit.”

Last year, several close associates of the king were killed, including Dr Dumisani Blasius Khumalo, a member of the Usuthu Traditional Council. He was fatally shot right after participating in the reed dance in Nongoma.

In November, Prince Mbongiseni Milton Muntukaphiwana Zulu, who was a close ally of the King, was also shot and killed in Nongoma, and his bodyguard was wounded.

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