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King Misuzulu gets his R66m royal budget back, to earn first salary as coronation day edges closer

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A source who sits on the coronation committee said the dates would be set once the availability of President Cyril Ramaphosa, King Mswati of eSwatini, who is an uncle to King Misuzulu, and King Letsie of Lesotho has been determined.

King Misuzulu KaZwelithini. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

ALL IS seemingly on track for King Misuzulu KaZwelithini to finally settle on the throne as the king of the Zulu nation after the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government was directed to start paying the new king his monthly salary and benefits.

The official directive followed the recognition of King Misuzulu by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday last week.

The directive was given in a letter on Thursday by Mashwahle Diphofa, the director-general of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize, the director-general of the provincial government.

“This letter serves to notify the Office of the Premier that the president has signed the Certificate and Government Notice for the legal recognition of His Majesty King Misuzulu Sinqobile Zulu as the King of AmaZulu Kingship on 16 March 2022… A Government Gazette for the recognition of His Majesty King Misuzulu Zulu Ka Zwelithini has been published and attached is a copy thereof…

“The original Certificate of Recognition will be handed over on a date to be agreed upon by the King, the AmaZulu Royal Family and government… The Department requests the Office of the Premier to provide His Majesty with the applicable salary, allowances, benefits, budget and required tools of trade,” reads the letter.

Department spokesperson Lungi Mtshali confirmed that the letter was authentic.

According to salary figures contained in a March 4, 2022 reply by Cogta minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to Dr Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus, it was revealed that kings get paid R1.2 million a year. This translates to over R100,000 a month before tax and other deductions.

Dlamini Zuma said fringe benefits of all traditional leaders, including those of kings, were provided by their respective provincial governments and her department did not have information on the movable and immovable fringe benefits each province provided to their kings.

For the Zulu kingdom, the KwaZulu-Natal government also sets aside an annual budget and that budget, which was frozen in May last year, was pegged at R66 million. This money does not go directly to the king’s pockets but it is used for queen’s allowances, vehicle repairs, maintenance of the six palaces and salaries for support staff, among other things.

The directive comes as Prince Simakade Zulu, the first-born son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, through his legal team, denied that he had declined a nomination for the throne during the now on-the-record meeting of May 14, 2021. He also wants Ramaphosa to release the findings of the Willies Mchunu report on who should take the throne, left vacant by the death of King Goodwill Zwelithini in March last year.

Despite the bid by the prince, the royal committee set up to oversee the coronation process is edging closer to setting a coronation date. A source who sits on the coronation committee said the dates would be set once the availability of Ramaphosa, King Mswati of eSwatini, who is an uncle to King Misuzulu, and King Letsie of Lesotho has been determined.

“The next meeting will be held on March 28 and from there preliminary dates will be proposed and the discussions will be based on them. What I can say is that the coronation will take place soon,” the source said.

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