The neighboring country where he was undergoing a routine medical check-up, the Zulu king, Misuzulu Zulu, vehemently denied rumors of poisoning and asserted that he is in good health. The 48-year-old monarch, who assumed the throne last year following the passing of his father, Goodwill Zwelithini, found himself embroiled in a contentious dispute over royal succession.
Over the weekend, the Zulu prime minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, had stated that the king was hospitalized in Eswatini after falling ill. Fueling further speculation, one of the king’s close advisers had tragically passed away, allegedly after ingesting a toxic substance. This had led to suspicions of foul play and possible poisoning.
However, when questioned by AFP, King Misuzulu refuted any notion of being admitted to a hospital. He clarified that his stay in Eswatini was merely a routine check-up, a practice he follows every few months or sometimes every six months. The royal spokesperson, Prince Africa Zulu, confirmed that the king had spent the day engaged in official duties, including a meeting with a Chinese delegation.
To dispel the rumors once and for all, the Zulu king released a video statement assuring the public that he had not been poisoned. He also clarified that the circumstances surrounding his adviser’s death were yet to be confirmed as poisoning.
Explaining his choice of location for the health check-up, the king stated that he needed to be away from home to process the loss of his trusted aide and decided on Eswatini, where his uncle, King Mswati III, holds reign. Moreover, his regular health checkups coincided with the trip, further refuting any claims of foul play.
The monarch announced his intention to launch an investigation into the reports about his health, seeking to put all speculation to rest. It should be noted that Prince Buthelezi had previously claimed that the king preferred treatment in Eswatini due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his parents’ medical care in South Africa.
The title of the Zulu king does not confer executive power, but it holds significant moral influence over the over 11 million Zulus, constituting nearly a fifth of South Africa’s population. Misuzulu, being the first son of King Zwelithini’s third wife, was designated as regent in his father’s will. However, a month after Zwelithini’s passing, the queen suddenly died, and her will named Misuzulu as the next king, which caused tensions among other family members. The situation led to a bitter feud over the succession and raised questions about the rightful heir to the Zulu throne.
As the investigation unfolds, the Zulu king remains resolute in assuring the public that he is in good health and unaffected by any form of poisoning, putting to rest the swirling speculations surrounding his well-being.