South Africa’s new Zulu king, Misuzulu kaZwelithini, has been officially recognised as the head of the country’s most influential traditional monarchy by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the first Zulu coronation since 1971.
King Misuzulu, who’s the 9th king of the 11-million-strong Zulu nation entered the stadium to wild cheering and ululation.
An estimated 48,000 people attended the spectacle – including former heads of state, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, and Ian Khama, erstwhile president of Botswana.
The ceremony recognising the new king, who has promised to unite his nation and protect tradition, puts an end to the legal dispute that entangled his succession to the throne.
“Our king is indeed officially the king of the Zulu nation and the only king of the Zulu nation,” said Ramaphosa on Saturday.
“You have picked up the mighty spear that has fallen. May your steady hand guide and bring stability to the kingship of AmaZulu,” Ramaphosa said, adding that his government was committed to working with the new king to help transform rural areas into places of prosperity.
The King has been embroiled in a nasty feud over the throne as some in the royal family have challenged his right to the throne.
Among them is his half-brother Prince Simakade, who believes he is the right heir to the throne.
“I commit to develop the country and the economy and promoting peace and reconciliation first among the Zulus and also among the South Africans and Africans,” King Misuzulu said after taking his oath.