Pretoria – The urgent application before the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday by Prince Mbonisi Bekithemba Ka Bhekuzulu – Prince Mbonisi Zulu – to stop his nephew, King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, from being crowned was dismissed due to a lack of urgency.
Prince Mbonisi Zulu approached the court on an urgent basis to stop the coronation of King Misuzulu, heir to the Zulu throne, on August 13 from going ahead
Judge NN Bam was asked to issue an interdict against the planned coronation, pending a review application in which Prince Mbonisi Zulu will ask the court to set aside President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of King Misuzulu as head of the Zulu nation.
While Judge Bam heard the matter virtually, various Zulu nationals headed to court in support of the application.
The issue of whether the matter was urgent took centre stage during yesterday’s court proceedings, with counsel for Prince Mbonisi Zulu arguing that they had no choice but to approach the court urgently.
Advocate M Masuku, who is part of the applicant’s team, told the court that they had no other choice but to urgently ask the court to stop the coronation from going ahead, pending the final outcome of the review challenge.
“A coronation is an important occasion for the Zulu nation. It is the event when the nation is formally introduced to their king,” Masuku said.
He added that it would be embarrassing if the coronation went ahead, and the court on review found he was not appointed lawfully.
“How do you undo this then once the king is introduced? Chances that this dispute can be resolved in any other way than in the courts is wishful thinking,” Masuku said.
He said when the nation was introduced to their king, there must be certainty that he was the rightful king.
“When they bow to their king, they must know he is the only king.”
Masuku pointed out that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in his court papers said this dispute could lead to bloodshed.
He said that be this as it may, the applicant wanted the courts to determine in accordance to law who should be king, which he hoped the court would rule on during the review application.
While counsel for the respondents both argued that the matter was definitely not urgent and that the applicant could wait for the review proceedings, Masuku said he did not want the court to determine who was the rightful king.
“We will just be happy with an order interdicting the coronation,” he said.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court in March ruled that the coronation of nominated King Misuzulu could go ahead.
Prince Mbonisi Zulu and others are challenging the ruling by Judge Isaac Madondo of the Pietermaritzburg High Court which paved the way for the recognition of the king by Ramaphosa.
Prince Buthelezi, the nation’s traditional prime minister, said in court papers that Prince Mbonisi Zulu and the 13 other royals who were part of the application were jumping the gun since the Supreme Court of Appeal was yet to rule on the matter.
King Misuzulu has denied claims that he was abusing drugs and alcohol or committed incest by fathering a child with one of the half-sisters in the Swazi royal family where his mother, the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, came from.
The youthful king wanted the court to dismiss these allegations as spurious.
The king’s denial is contained in court papers in response to Prince Mbonisi Zulu’s application to stop his coronation and set aside his recognition.
Advocate TG Madonsela SC, acting for the appointed king, asked for the matter to be struck from the roll due to lack of urgency.
He said the president had already announced on June 25 that the coronation would take place the week after.
He questioned why the applicants did not then already come to court.