The Response from the Royal House about Zulu king’s ‘suspicion of poisoning’

The Zulu Royal House has said that King Misuzulu kaZwelithini is in good health and only underwent minor check-ups after a senior induna, Douglas Xaba suddenly died. 

“His Majesty wishes to once again reassure the nation that he remains in perfect health and is not currently admitted at any hospital,” the Royal House said in a statement on Sunday.

This comes after the traditional Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi issued a statement late on Saturday evening stating that King Misuzulu may have been poisoned after Xaba’s death.

Buthelezi said he received news from Prince Vumile, the brother to King Mswati III, that King Misuzulu had been taken to hospital.

“When His Majesty Misuzulu began to feel unwell, he suspected that he too may also have been poisoned. He immediately sought medical treatment in eSwatini. I am informed that His Majesty felt uncomfortable seeking treatment in South Africa, as his parents had both received treatment here [in SA] and subsequently died,” Buthelezi said.

The Royal House however quashed the rumours, saying Misuzulu only had a general check-up “informed by the context of our current times of pandemics such as Covid-19 and other dangerous ailments”.

“His Majesty’s office decided to err on the side of caution and ensure that all possible impediments were tested, in order to mitigate against any untimely eventuality, given the reports of Mr Xaba’s sudden passing,” Royal House spokesperson Prince Africa Zulu said.

Zulu added that it appears that there is ‘an orchestrated agenda and a desperate narrative to communicate defamatory and baseless claims of His Majesty’s ill health’.

“The motives are unclear at this stage, however, the king remains cognisant that the political environment is ripe, due to the approaching cycle of political elections. It seems the intention is to create the public perception that His Majesty, the King is unwell and unfit.” 

King Misuzulu expressed his deep condolences with regard to the untimely death of Xaba. The Royal family said that Xaba served the crown diligently for many years.

A number of confidants of the king were assassinated last year, including a member of the Usuthu Traditional Council, Dr Dumisani Blasius Khumalo. He was shot dead shortly after attending the reed dance in Nongoma.

Prince Mbongiseni Milton Muntukaphiwana Zulu, a close ally of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, was also assassinated. He was shot dead, also in Nongoma, in November and his bodyguard was wounded.