Renaming Nongoma municipality after late Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu is disrespectful: prince

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Zulu royal family member Prince Mandlakapheli Zulu voiced his displeasure about the proposed renaming of Nongoma local municipality after the late King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu. 

Prince Mandlakapheli, who has been vocal about his support for Prince Simakade as the rightful successor, shared his unhappiness in a video that has been making the rounds on social media.

He said it was uncalled for that a small municipality would be renamed after his father while there are bigger district municipalities that can honour his legacy.

“I don’t have a problem with the late king being honoured and respected. My question is why the small municipality?  The history of the late king is so big and [his kingdom was] vast and he ruled over it for a very long time — and how he is being compared to a small grade 3 municipality,” said Prince Mandlakapheli. 

Prince Mandlakapheli referred to late kings whose names have been used to name bigger municipalities, such as the Ilembe and King Cetshwayo district municipalities.

He said it would have been ideal to rename the Zululand municipality after the late monarch. He said in the Zululand area, there are a lot of historical areas that would support this.

“It’s a clear thing. The late king was buried there and there are a lot of other amakhosi in the area. There are also royal households in Ulundi, which is under the Zululand district municipality. If the district is named after him, we can proudly say he is being honoured. But to [rename] a grade 3 municipality after him is a total disrespect,” he said. 

He said it was not only disrespecting the king’s name but also the role he played in fighting for the land and history of the Zulu nation.

The late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekhuzulu was the longest-serving monarch of the Zulu kingdom with a reign spanning over five decades. He died in March 2021 at the age of 72.

Last week, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs Siboniso Duma said he had been informed by the speaker of Nongoma municipality Babongile Sithole about their move to rename the municipality.

Duma said he was looking forward to the completion of the council process.

The matter is set to be discussed in council. 


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