South Africa crowns new Zulu king at mega party

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A new Zulu King was formally enthroned as the head of South Africa’s most influential traditional monarchy at a colourful ceremony on Saturday at-tended by tens of thousands.

President Cyril Ramaphosa handed over a giant framed certificate officially recognising the 48-year-old new ruler Misuzulu Zulu in the coastal city of Durban.

“Our king, is indeed officially the King of the Zulu nation and the only king of the Zulu nation,” said Ramaphosa to loud applause at an 85,000-seater soccer stadium.

The king vowed to promote “peace and recon-ciliation” and to “be a catalyst” for development.

The coronation of the ruler of the country’s richest monarchy comes after a year of bitter feuding over the royal succession that has spilled into the courts.

Misuzulu ascended the throne once held by his late father, Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March 2021 — after more than 50 years on the throne. The crowning which followed a traditional coronation ceremony in August, is the first South Africa has witnessed in more than half a century. “This historic moment only comes once in a lifetime, many of us will never see this historic moment again,” said Ramaphosa.

Although the title of king does not bestow ex-ecutive power, the monarchs wield great moral in-fluence over more than 11 million Zulus, who make up nearly a fifth of South Africa’s population of 60 million people.

Amabutho, or royal regiments, clad in traditional skirts, leopard skin tops, and carrying shields and sticks chanted songs of praise for their king. Singing and blowing whistles as they slowly glided around the pitch, women wore broad-brimmed Zulu hats and traditional wraps.Londolo Zungu, 49, was among the women at the party. “We are very happy, more than happy, we are supporting the king 100 percent,” she said.—AFP

 

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