The Zulu kingdom’s Prime Minister, chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has vented his frustration and “anger” at the royal family members who have labelled him a dictator.
This comes as divisional lines widen at the royal house following the death of the late regent, queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu last week. All these emanate from a secret meeting between late king Goodwill Zwelithini’s siblings prince Mbonisi and princess Thembi without Buthelezi’s knowledge or that of the late regent.
Both siblings then called a press conference seeking to explain the reasons for the meeting. “During this press conference, princess Thembi claimed they had excluded me from an earlier secret meeting they convened because I apparently do not give them space to freely discuss matters,” Buthelezi said in a statement about the press conference.
“Her allegation that I am some sort of dictator who shoots people down when they have a view which with I disagree, is quite outlandish.”
Buthelezi has since challenged the princess to quote him any instance in which he shut anyone out at a family meeting.
“By giving this as the reason for excluding me from their meeting, princess Thembi is being mendacious, diverting attention from the fact that they never even informed the regent about the meeting, or the queen mother, or any other senior member of the royal family,” Buthelezi said.
“A new voice in the midst of all this is prince Thokozani who has suddenly emerged as a vociferous critic of the royal family’s decisions. He is someone whom we have always known as Mr Msweli, the son of prince Penuel, born out of wedlock. He did not grow up in the royal court.
“His mother was not married to king Cyprian. Knowing this, we all applauded the way king Zwelithini embraced him and used him to run errands.”
Meanwhile, the princess said Buthelezi was locking them out of their own royal house and should anything go wrong, people would blame them, “not the Prince (Buthelezi) whose home is KwaPhindangene (in Ulundi).”
“We want to meet with the Prince (Buthelezi) and tell him that he cannot chuck us out of our own home because exactly what he is doing is expelling us from our own home and occupy it himself.
“His time (as Zulu traditional prime minister) ended long ago. The reason why he is still in that position is that we respect him. We are told that he is the (traditional) prime minister of King Bhusha (King Cyprian Bhekuzulu, the father of King Goodwill Zwelithin), the King (Goodwill Zwelithini) never had a prime minister and the next one will appoint his own prime minister,” she said.