NONGOMA – The urgent court papers of Queen Sibongile Dlamini before the Pietermaritzburg High Court as she fights for the Zulu throne and seeks to inherit 50% of late King Goodwill Zwelithini’s estate, contain some startling claims and demands.
The papers have dragged in KwaZulu-Natal premier, Sihle Zikalala, among the many respondents. This is while Zikalala’s provincial government said it had requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to grant the recently departed Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu ( not related to Dlamini) a state funeral.
The affidavit is 35 pages long.
She claims she was abducted (ukuthwala) to marry the king. Aged 20, she claimed she was forced to marry the late king and had to follow an established custom.
“During September 1969 I was taken from school by the late Isilo (king) and his brother-in-law a certain Prince Klaas Mahlangu, to KwaKhethomthandayo Palace, which is situated at Nongoma. They did this because at the time as a Zulu nation we recognized a custom of ukuthwala wherein a female person would be fetched from her home or wherever for the purposes of entering into a customary marriage.
“In my case, I was brought to the home of the late Isilo through the custom of ukuthwala in order to marry the late Isilo so that in turn, he could take up the throne as the monarch of the Zulu nation.”
She wants 50% of the estate. She argues that everything belongs to her and the late king.
“As things stand, the entire estate is owned jointly and in equal share by me and the late Isilo. This means, I own 50% of the entire estate… therefore, any attempt to dispose of the entire estate as if it was the sole property of the late Isilo is legally incompetent and impermissible.
“I am advised that one half of the entire estate must be determined and set aside as a portion that may be distributed in terms of the will.”
The Royal House wanted Prince Mbonisi to act after the king’s death.
MaDlamini believes that Prince Mbonisi, the king’s brother who has been accused of holding “parallel meetings” with other senior royals like Princess Thembi, should have acted on the throne, as was the royal family’s wish.
“I have no knowledge of precisely when and how the decision identifying, appointing or recommending the Second Respondent (Dlamini-Zulu) as regent (was reached). If this in fact happened it did not occur at the meeting of 24 March 2021.
“The members of the Royal Family proposed the name of Prince Mbonisi Zulu to be Ibambabukhosi and the Second Respondent objected to that nomination. As I understand, no decision was made at the meeting by the family.”
MaDlamini, who hails from Nongoma, claims that the KZN premier’s office, which is obliged to keep records of the king’s assets and blood relatives, must publish that list so that they know she has an interest in the king’s estate.
“I do not know all the names and identities of all the members of the royal family who are included in the last list that was or may have been submitted by the late Isilo to the premier.
“Only the premier would have this information. Certain members of the royal family may be affected by the relief I seek in this application and I may have not served this application upon them. In order to mitigate against any possible omission, I ask this court to direct the premier to furnish my attorney with the last list signed and submitted by the late Isilo.
“As a further measure to safeguard the interest of any other person or persons who may be unknown to me, I ask leave of this court to publish the order in Ilanga, Isolezwe and the Mercury newspapers. This is to ensure that they can anticipate this court order.”
MaDlamini urges that the customary union between the king and Dlamini-Zulu is only recognised to the extent of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act. As such she is not eligible to rise and ascend to the throne.
“This is so because she is not born in the Zulu royal family. She also does not meet the definitional requirements to be a successor to the throne.
“Her customary union does not entitle her to ascend to the throne. Accordingly, she is not eligible to ascend to the throne as Ibambabukhosi or a successor,” she argued.