Gauteng High Court Declares Recognition of King Misuzulu KaZwelithini Invalid

December 11, 2023
King Misuzulus recognition by Ramaphosa as unlawful | Report Focus News
AmaZulu King Misuzulu Zulu was handed his certificate by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister Nkosazane Dlamini Zuma, and Premier Nomusa Dube Ncube. The Pretoria High Court has now declared this unlawful. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo / Independent Newspapers

In a significant legal development, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recognition of King Misuzulu KaZwelithini was unlawful and invalid. The court decision has raised questions about the legitimacy of King Misuzulu’s ascension to the Zulu throne.

King Misuzulu KaZwelithini became the monarch of the Zulu nation in 2021 following the passing of his parents, King Goodwill Zwelithini, and Queen Regent Mantfombi, within months of each other. President Ramaphosa had issued a certificate of recognition to King Misuzulu, paving the way for his coronation, which took place in October 2022.

President Ramaphosa defended his decision in court, stating that it was rational and in line with a February 2022 ruling in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg. In that ruling, Judge Isaac Madondo had dismissed an application by Prince Mbonisi, who sought to stop King Misuzulu’s coronation on the grounds that he had been wrongly nominated and that a pending dispute needed resolution.

The legal team representing Prince Simakade argued that the meeting where King Misuzulu’s recognition was decided was improper, with the attendance of individuals who were not members of the Zulu royal family.

However, in a decisive judgment, Judge Norman Davis declared President Ramaphosa’s decision to issue the certificate of recognition as unlawful and invalid. Judge Davis stated, “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.”

Additionally, President Ramaphosa has been ordered to cover the applicants’ costs, including the expenses related to two counsels, where employed.

This court ruling has thrown the recognition of King Misuzulu KaZwelithini into uncertainty, with potential ramifications for the Zulu nation’s leadership and customs. The call for an investigative committee signals that further scrutiny will be placed on the process by which King Misuzulu ascended to the throne.

The case has garnered significant attention, both for its legal implications and its potential impact on the Zulu monarchy, as South Africa watches closely for developments in this ongoing dispute.