In a recent turn of events, the Nongoma Local Municipality is deliberating a potential name change to pay tribute to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. However, this decision has stirred up a contentious debate within the Zulu royal family.
Over the weekend, a faction of the Zulu royal family, which aligns itself with Prince Simakade, expressed their support for the proposed renaming of the municipality. Their stance, however, carries a caveat—they insist on being consulted before any final decision is made.
This faction, openly opposing the current monarch, convened a media briefing in Durban to air their views following the municipality’s proposal. Last week, Council Speaker Babongile Sithole had already discussed the matter with King Misuzulu, who consented to the renaming.
Nevertheless, those at odds with the reigning king are dissatisfied, asserting their right to have a voice in this matter. Prince Thokozani Zulu, who had previously contested King Misuzulu’s ascension to the throne in May 2021, now supports the idea of renaming the municipality after the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Prince Thokozani emphasized the historical significance of Nongoma in preserving the cultural heritage of the Zulu people, stating, “It befits for this municipality to be renamed after the late iSilo (King).”
Despite a year having passed since King Misuzulu’s official coronation, Prince Thokozani and his supporters continue to oppose his reign. While they are enthusiastic about the prospect of renaming the municipality, they demand that Prince Simakade, whom they recognize as their king, be consulted in this process, along with the late king’s surviving wives.
The renaming of Nongoma Municipality remains a complex and divisive issue within the Zulu royal family, with the outcome yet to be determined amidst ongoing deliberations and differences of opinion.