Prince Simakade Zulu, the new contender for the Zulu throne, has finally spoken out about his ambition for the throne, telling Independent Media that a statement attributed to him that he did not intend to challenge King Misuzulu was a “deliberate” distortion.

Prince Simakade said a statement from May 12 which was attributed to him, purportedly saying he would not challenge his brother, King Misuzulu, was “misunderstood or deliberately distorted”.

He was not explicit about who distorted the statement or how it was misunderstood. The statement was read out by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi verbatim.

Prince Simakade shot to prominence after the burial of the Zulu Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, and after the naming of King Misuzulu as the successor of King Goodwill Zwelithini last month, when some royal family members said he should have been the one to ascend to the throne.

They argued was that although he was born of out wedlock, he was raised at KwaKhangelamankengane place in Nongoma, the royal palace of the late queen regent.

However, Prince Simakade’s opponents said he could only ascend to the throne if he was culturally adopted by the late queen regent, and only in the event that the queen had no children of her own. They said the queen had six children, thus, Prince Simakade could not lay claim to the throne.

Speaking on Wednesday, Prince Simakade said the question as to who would be heir to the throne was an exclusive prerogative of the Zulu royal family.

“This is so, in terms of our centuries-old succession tradition, as well as the law, namely the KwaZulu Natal Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act,” he said.

Regarding the issue of his statement where he pledged that he had no ambition for the throne, he said: “It is true that I requested HRH Prince MG Buthelezi to read my statement, with a hope that it was going to be received for what it was. However, it has been my regrettable observation that the statement seems to have been misunderstood or deliberately distorted.

“I, therefore, wish to reiterate my position. I have not expressed a wish or desire to be heir to the position of monarch of the Zulu nation. Certainly not to HRH Prince MG Buthelezi, nor to any other person, as stated in my original statement.

“Notwithstanding my clear and unambiguous position, stated in my statement, circumstances have compelled me to repeat what I previously said, namely that if the Zulu royal family – which as you may know has the exclusive jurisdiction and right to appoint the heir to the throne – were to nominate and appoint me, I would not dishonour its wishes.

“I further stated that, if someone other than me were to be duly nominated and appointed I will accept that decision, and pledge my full and unreserved support for him,” he said.

On Tuesday IOL learnt that one of the factions in the royal court had already submitted Prince Simakade’s name to the KZN Office of the Premier, asking Premier Sihle Zikalala to consider him for the throne.

While the letter, leaked to IOL, did not make it clear who submitted his name to the premier’s office, one of the vocal opponents of Buthelezi and King Misuzulu in the royal court, Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu, said she knew about it and said that the nomination process for the throne was not over and new names could still be added.

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