He Is The New Zulu King: He Killed A Lion And Slept Among The Cattle
In a spectacular black feathered suit: the new king of the Zulu people was crowned on Saturday in South Africa despite a fierce clan war at the palace, reports AFP.
In the country of 11 official languages, traditional sovereigns and chiefs are recognized by the Constitution. Kings without executive power hold great moral authority and are deeply respected by their people.
To succeed his father, Goodwill Zwelithini, who died last year after 50 years in power, 47-year-old Misuzulu ka Zwelithini killed a lion a few days before the ceremony.
He then spent a night in the "cattle pen" of the KwaKhangelamankengane palace in Nongoma, a small town in KwaZulu-Natal province (KZN, southeast) and the cradle of the Zulu nation. A kind of temple for the "sky people", only a few men know the secrets of this place and the rituals that are conducted there.
The Zulu People Have A New King
The country's 11 million Zulu people, almost one in five South Africans, are descendants of Chaka, a charismatic leader and military genius who made history by winning a bloody battle against the British Empire.
At Saturday's ceremony, the women wore their finest traditional attire adorned with colorful beads. Hundreds of young girls danced topless and dozens of cows were slaughtered to be served to guests. Delegations of the usual kings from neighboring countries were present with gifts.
"The Zulu nation is entering a new chapter today. I promise I will work to unite it," Misuzulu ka Zwelithini told thousands of people at the ceremony.
The War Inside The Palace
For more than a year, a succession dispute has plagued the palace. The late king's first wife and her clan dispute the legitimacy of Misuzulu Zulu, son of the late king's third and favorite wife.
A last-minute attempt Saturday to halt the coronation failed.
The king, whose name means "strengthening of the Zulu people", already has two wives and four children.
Playing the role of guarantor of social peace in his kingdom, the Zulu king receives state support.
Known for leading a lavish lifestyle, King Zwelithini received around 75,000 dollars a year for personal use and a budget of 4.2 million dollars for running the kingdom, according to a government scale.