Nongoma – The memorial service of the late Zulu Queen Regent, Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, was briefly interrupted on Friday morning when energetic Zulu regiments ushered Prince Misuzulu into a marquee hosting VIPs mourners.
The commotion started minutes before 11am, when the regiments led by princes escorted Misuzulu to the tent, pushing their way ahead. Metres before they reached the marquee, they stopped, chanting traditional Zulu songs and were joined by Zulu maidens who also chanted their own songs.
Noticeably, Prince Misuzulu, who is tipped to be announced as the next Zulu king later today or tomorrow, was dressed like his father, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. He was also under heavy security protection from bodyguards in suits.
Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics
Sweating profusely, the prince danced to Zulu traditional songs while carrying his spear, knobkerrie and shield. Time and again, one of the princes would wipe the sweat and adjust his clothing, just like those close to his father used to do during public events.
After chanting and singing traditional songs, the regents shoved their way into the tents with some people almost injured during the brief stampede.
It appeared that someone inside the marquee alerted Prince Mangosuthu, Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the king and the Zulu nation, about the commotion and he went outside to call for order.
Instead of allowing in the entire regiment of about 50 men in traditional regalia, after Buthelezi’s intervention, Prince Misuzulu was ushered inside with only a few princes, among other princes and princesses in the marquee.
In front of him, were the widows of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, former President Jacob Zuma and other ministers, including Bheki Cele and Lindiwe Sisulu. Also among the mourners was Princess Thembi who has, in the past few days, been involved in public spats with Buthelezi accusing him of imposing himself in royal affairs – Buthelezi has denied the accusations.
Across the Zulu royals and government leaders, sat a stone-faced delegation from the kingdom of Eswatini from where the late queen hailed. The Swati delegation was led by a senior prince, Guduza Dlamini, a brother to the queen and King Mswati of Eswatini.