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*On this date in 2022, the South African government officially recognized Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the AmaZulu King. The first Zulu coronation since 1971, he has promised to unite his nation and protect tradition.
kaZwelithini, 48, was crowned the king of South Africa's largest indigenous group in a customary celebration in August but required recognition from Ramaphosa to fully access government resources and support. President Cyril Ramaphosa's official recognition ends the lengthy legal arguments that stuck his succession to the throne. This battle has played out in public and the courts.
This certificate of recognition was at the coastal town of Durban, where tens of thousands of people, mostly Zulus dressed in their traditional attires and carrying shields and clubs, gathered to recognize Misuzulu as the rightful heir to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. Misuzulu's father, King Zwelithini, passed away in March 2021 after reining in 1971. "You have picked up the mighty spear that has fallen. May your steady hand guide and bring stability to the kingship of AmaZulu," Ramaphosa said, adding that his government was committed to working with the new king to help transform rural areas into places of prosperity.
King Misuzulu reigns over a divided royal family with another faction that includes some of his late father's wives and siblings from the other palaces, recognizing King Zwelithini's first-born son Prince Simakade as king. Misuzulu kaZwelithini was the rightful heir through his mother's will, the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu, who became interim leader after the death of her husband, King Zwelithini. The Queen passed away almost two months after Zwelithini.