The president is set to file a leave to appeal application with the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will appeal a court ruling which set aside the certification of Misuzulu kaZwelithini as AmaZulu King, the Presidency has confirmed.
This week, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that Ramaphosa’s decision to recognise King Misuzulu as the rightful heir to the throne, following the death of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu in 2021, was unlawful and invalid.
Leave to appeal
While the court did not rule that the king should step aside, it ordered that Ramaphosa appoint a committee to investigate allegations of violation of customary laws in the identification of King Misuzulu.
Additionally, the Zulu King was ordered to pay the costs of his half-brother, Prince Simakade Zulu.
But Ramaphosa is set to challenge the court’s judgment.
High Court rules Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini’s certification is unlawful
“Following a study of the judgment, the president will apply for leave to appeal against the judgment. During these legal processes, His Majesty, King Misuzulu, remains the identified heir to the throne,” Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya in a brief statement.
Magwenya said Ramaphosa had called on all members of the royal family to continue working for the “unity of the AmaZulu kingship and to prioritize the interests of King Misuzulu’s subjects”.
“It is vital that all due processes are allowed to reach their natural conclusion without inflaming tensions,” he added.
‘President’s recognition didn’t carry much weight’
Some people criticized the ruling because it questioned the legitimacy of Zulu King’s ascension to the throne.
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu described the judgment as an insult to the Zulu nation and African culture.
“It should be remembered that the court is part of the Western institutions which should not prescribe to Africans how they should appoint their traditional leader. In terms of the Zulu culture, a king is appointed in terms of Zulu traditions.
“While President Cyril Ramaphosa last year officially recognized the King as the legitimate heir to the throne, his recognition didn’t carry much weight in terms of Zulu traditions which stipulate that the king is recognized as the Zulu nation ruler upon entering the kraal — a ritual which was performed long before the president recognized the current Zulu King,” he told The Witness on Tuesday.
Support for Misuzulu had been split among the royal household even before his coronation.
A Zulu royal family faction led by the late king’s brother, Prince Mbonisi Zulu, objected to King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s appointment, saying royal family members were not consulted before the decision to anoint the new king was made.
Some even declared Prince Simakade Zulu king before Misuzulu was coronated and the matter later went to court.