Prince Simakade’s letter to Mangosuthu Buthelezi comes back to haunt his court case against King Misuzulu

King Misuzulu is being challenged. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

King Misuzulu is being challenged. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Oct 17, 2023


The May 2021 letter by Prince Simakade to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, in which he publicly said he has no interest in the Zulu throne, has come back to haunt and soil his court case, where he is seeking to dethrone King Misuzulu.

The letter by Prince Simakade is now part of court records in Pretoria and Pietermaritzburg and official royal press statement records.

The letter has also been used to show that he initially knew that he had no legitimate claim to the Zulu throne.

But he developed an appetite for it when one of the factions in the Zulu royal family lobbied him to throw his hat in the ring on the basis that he is the first-born son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) October 17, 2023

On Tuesday, advocate Marumo Moerane SC, who is representing President Cyril Ramaphosa in the ongoing court case brought by Prince Simakade, who wants the recognition of King Misuzulu set aside, told Judge Norman Davis about the letter that was sent just before the May 14, 2021, meeting.

This is the meeting that eventually nominated the then-Prince Misuzulu to take over the throne. Prince Simakade’s legal team also wants that meeting to be declared null and void as it was improperly attended by people who are not members of the Zulu royal family.

Moerane also told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that the letter of dispute from Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu to Ramaphosa and to the KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, was not legally compliant, hence the President had no obligation to consider it.

“The letter by Princess Thembi Ndlovu lacked the necessary allegation that Prince Misuzulu (now King), who was identified by the royal family, had not been identified in accordance with Zulu customary law and traditions, and that Prince Simakade has a better right or entitlement to accede to the throne.

“It is also common cause that Prince Simakade declined the nomination; as a result, he is not a contender.

“Even if he purportedly accepted the nomination, he could not have legitimately identified himself, as he does not qualify in terms of Zulu customary law and customs.

“Prince Simakade’s purported identification was accordingly doomed.

Furthermore, Moerane told the court that Ramaphosa was not bound by the recommendations of the mediation panel that recommended that King Misuzulu be put on hold until the dispute had been resolved.

The mediation team included the likes of Willies Mchunu, and it was tasked with hearing all the warring factions and making recommendations.

Closing his arguments before the court adjourned for lunch, Moerane told the court that it is not true that Ramaphosa did not apply his mind before issuing the certificate of recognition to King Misuzulu.

“Our conclusion, my lord, is that the president’s imputed decision was neither irrational nor arbitrary.

“In fact, we submit that it was a decision that a reasonable decision-maker could have made. Our final topic, my lord, is that the president did not fail to apply his mind,” Moerane told the court.

[email protected]

IOL Politics