New king of South Africa’s Zulu nation dismisses challengers

New king of South Africa's Zulu nation dismisses challengers
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KWANONGOMA, South Africa (AP) — The new king of South Africa’s Zulu nation, Misuzulu kaZwelithini, ascended the throne in a colorful ceremony in front of hundreds of his supporters in rural KwaZulu-Natal province on Saturday.

In his first public statements on the subject, the king dismissed those who objected to his right to the throne. crowned as traditional leader of the Zulu nation, Although some members of the royal family objected to his late father, King Goodwill Zwelithini’s right to succeed him.

Some members of the family prefer one older brother, and a different group supports another brother. The late king had six wives and several sons. After the king died last year, Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s mother became regent only a month before she died, but in her will she appointed her son as the next king. This is considered by many to be the strongest claim to the Zulu throne.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recognized the Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the legitimate heir to the Zulu throne. Ramaphosa is preparing to present him with an official certificate declaring him king of the Zulu people at a ceremony this year.

Misuzulu kaZwelithini addressed nearly 1,000 of his supporters after going through a traditional ritual known as ukengana esibayeni (entering the royal cattle enclosure) to celebrate the start of his reign as king.

“I know you are aware of the recent situation of the royal family. Misuzulu kaZwelithini said, “Whatever you hear in the media, I urge you to hear the comments of those arguing about the throne, but not listen.”

He called for unity among the Zulu nation and thanked Ramaphosa for his support.

Ceremonies and celebrations were colorful demonstrations of Zulu culture, in which hundreds of people wore traditional clothes.

Wearing beads, skirts, and hats, the women howled and sang Zulu chants and slogans as they awaited the arrival of the new king.

Applause rose in the air as the Misuzulu kaZwelithini entered the main enclosure of the palace, where he was given a sharp, gold-plated scepter, and received congratulatory messages from the Zulu nation dignitaries.

Hundreds of male Zulu warriors, known as Amabutho, donned traditional shields, spears and clubs and marched to the royal palace to swear allegiance to their new leader.

During the day, the men slaughtered an estimated 50 cattle, while the women cooked the meat and other foods and brewed traditional sorghum beer for the celebratory feast.

Seen as the enthronement or coronation of the new king, the event was attended by traditional leaders from other South African ethnic groups and representatives of other nationalities who trace their origins to the Zulu nation, including the communities of Zambia and Malawi.

The Zulu ethnic group is the largest in South Africa, with over 12 million people mostly located in the KwaZulu-Natal province. They are known for their fierce resistance to British colonialism under King Shaka Zulu in the early 1800s.

The leader of the Zulu nation, which controls approximately 10,810 square miles of land in the state of KwaZulu-Natal, the king is arguably the most influential traditional leader in South Africa.

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