President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to apply for leave to appeal a North Gauteng High Court decision to set aside the President’s official recognition of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the rightful ruler of the Zulu nation.
This, according to a statement released by the Presidency on Wednesday.
The high court ruled on Monday that Ramaphosa’s decision to recognize King Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the ruler of the Zulu nation, the country’s largest ethnic group, was unlawful.
“Following a study of the judgement, the President will apply for leave to appeal against the judgement. During the course of these legal processes, His Majesty King Misuzulu remains the identified heir to the throne.
“The court further ordered the President to institute an investigative committee to investigate allegations of violation of customary laws in the identification of King Misuzulu,” the statement read.
President Ramaphosa officially handed over a certificate of recognition to AmaZulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini in October last year.
At the time, the President had already issued the certificate to His Majesty earlier in the year, and in accordance with a wish expressed by a section of the Royal Family, he formally handed over the certificate at a ceremony held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
On Wednesday, the Presidency said Ramaphosa had “noted” the judgement and called on the royal family to continue working for “unity of ubukhosi bakwaZulu”.
“President Ramaphosa calls on all members of the Royal family to continue working for the unity of ubukhosi bakwaZulu and to prioritise the interest of His Majesty’s subjects. It is vital that all due processes are allowed to reach their natural conclusion without inflaming tensions,” the statement continued.
King Misuzulu ascended to the Zulu royal throne following the death – in 2021 – of his father, King Goodwill Zwelithini.
A court challenge to the younger monarch’s ascension was launched thereafter in the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
That challenge was dismissed by the court which stated that there “is no genuine dispute as to the succession of Prince Misuzulu, as he is in terms of the customary law and customs the rightful heir to the throne”.
There are estimated to be over 10 million Zulu people in the country, which has a population of over 60 million.