SOUTH AFRICA Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is sending an envoy to hold a meeting with the self-proclaimed Ndebele King Stanley Raphael Khumalo, a major boost for the latter’s claim, whom critics dismiss as an impostor.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Khumalo, also known as Mzilikazi, declared himself the new Ndebele King in June last year and unveiled a new Mthwakazi flag.
The Southern Eye was told recently that Zwelithini’s representative and spokesperson, Thulani Zulu had been expected to jet into the country this weekend, but the visit has been postponed to the end of month, as they are holding some cultural commemorations in South Africa.
Khumalo’s spokesperson, Greater Sibanda confirmed Zwelithini’s interest in meeting the self-proclaimed Ndebele King.
“King Zwelithini’s representative is no longer coming this weekend as planned. The meeting has been postponed to a later date.
The reason for the postponement is that there will be the Battle of Isandlwana commemorations in Kwazulu this weekend.
“However, the meeting is still on and we are expecting his visit after the commemorations,” Sibanda said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
The Battle of Isandlwana commemorations are held annually in South Africa to honour the warriors who fought and won decisively while protecting the Zulu Kingdom against the British invasion in January 1879, some 139 years ago.
Khumalo’s proclamation has divided opinion in Matabeleland, with some secessionists supporting him, while descendants of the Lobengula family, the Khumalo clan have dismissed him as an imposter.
The battle over the Ndebele kingship continues to rage with a faction of the Khumalo clan set to unveil Nyamande Lobengula II as heir to the throne. Last year another faction announced that South Africa-based Bulelani Collin Khumalo was the heir-apparent,
Lobengula was the last King after a British Pioneer Column led by Cecil John Rhodes destroyed the Ndebele Kingdom in 1983.
Former Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage minister, Abednigo Ncube once threatened Khumalo with arrest, describing his actions as treasonous.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon khaya Moyo has said the ruling party does not want to be drawn into the Ndebele King debacle, saying the issue is best solved culturally.