South Africa: King Misuzulu Allies Murdered Ahead of His Coronation

Four people – including a prominent induna of the Osuthu Traditional Council under King Misuzulu KaZwelithini – were gunned down on Saturday.

Induna Maphemba Cuphisa Ntuli, a well-known figure in royal circles, was shot dead alongside Sgonyoza Ngema, Yazi Zulu and Mbebiseni Zulu.

The four were shot during a meeting to discuss transport arrangements to King Misuzulu’s coronation, in their village of Mhambuma in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Their gruesome killing comes ahead of King Misuzulu’s historical coronation – the handing over of the certificate of recognition – at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

This has sent shock waves inside and outside the walls of the royal household, which is plagued by a nasty feud over the rightful heir to the throne.

Prince Simakade is challenging his half-brother King Misuzulu’s rise to the throne. The matter is yet to be heard in court.

Prince Thulani Zulu, the spokesperson of the royal family, said the killing of people close to King Misuzulu worried him.

“We are grieved as we have lost important people in our Osuthu council. The King is saddened and worried by their passing,” said Thulani.

He wouldn’t link the killings to the rift in the royal family.

“I think we should allow the police to do their investigations instead of rushing to link this to what is happening in the royal family.”

He allayed any fears of violence at King Misuzulu’s coronation, which is expected to be attended by around 48,000 people.

Last month, King Misuzulu’s strong backer Dr Dumisani Khumalo, 76, was shot dead after attending a reed dance at eNyonkeni Palace in Nongoma.

He was an influential induna of the Osuthu Traditional Council and a trusted ally of the late King Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu, King Misuzulu’s father.

Ntuli was among the traditional leaders who accompanied the late King Zwelithini to Wales to visit the then-Prince, now King Charles III, during the Royal Welsh Show in 2019.

The royal family leads the nation of more than 11 million Zulus.

An association representing izinduna, Ubumbano Lwezinduna, decried the lack of arrests and convictions over the killing of izinduna.

“Our traditional leaders are being killed like flies, but our government is absent,” said Charles Malinga, the association’s secretary-general.

Ntuli is the 50th induna to be killed in KZN since 2019, according to Malinga.

Police spokesperson Colonel Nqobile Gwala confirmed the killings.

“They were attacked by unknown suspects who fired multiple shots at them. The circumstances surrounding their death are still being investigated. The victims are aged between 25 and 63.”

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