Gloves are off between Zulu king and provincial government

The Office of the Premier has axed King Misuzulu’s praise singer Buzetsheni Mdletshe. Picture: Bongani Mbatha / Independent Newspapers

The Office of the Premier has axed King Misuzulu’s praise singer Buzetsheni Mdletshe. Picture: Bongani Mbatha / Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 24, 2024


The gloves are off between King Misuzulu kaZwelithini and the African National Congress-led provincial government under Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube after she axed the monarch’s praise singer.

Buzetsheni Mdletshe has been the praise singer to King Misuzulu and his late father King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.

King Misuzulu was up in arms after it emerged that the provincial government axed Mdletshe from his position.

Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu monarch and nation Thulasizwe Buthelezi said the king was not happy about the way he has been treated by the provincial government.

The king said this was an affront to the Zulu nation.

Buthelezi said Mdletshe was a key adviser to the King and was involved in sacred rituals.

“His Majesty is disappointed that the KZN government operates as though the king does not exist.

“His Majesty has instructed the Traditional Prime Minister to ensure that Mdletshe’s services are not lost to the Royal Family. Mdletshe has been part of the Royal Household since 1977 and is a trusted and senior official attached to the daily activities of His Majesty,” said Buthelezi.

He added that the king warned the provincial government not to treat the king in the manner it was.

But Premier Dube-Ncube denied that they have axed Mdletshe, but said his contract had come to an end and the provincial government was implementing austerity measures.

She said the Zulu royal household can still hire Mdletshe through another entity of government.

“However, if Mdletshe’s services are required by His Majesty and the Royal Family, such services can be sourced through the Zulu Royal Trust, an entity of government,” said the premier’s office.

It said that Mdletshe retired in 2020 when he turned 65-years-old.

But King Zwelithini asked that his contract be extended for another two years and this was done.

“This contract started on January 1, 2021 and expired on December 31, 2022. The Public Service Act allows for the two-year extension if the services of that individual are still required.

“At the end of the two-year extension, it was evident that Mdletshe’s services were still required. As such the Office of the Premier contracted him through his company Mafavuke (Pty) Ltd where he is a sole director from February 15, 2023.”

The premier said there were already two other praise singers that were trained by Mdletshe. The office of the premier hired a Mr Mkhize to be the praise singer for the monarch.

“Due to financial constraints and the fact that Mkhize is already being paid by the Office of the Premier to provide the praise singing services, it would have been a duplication to keep both in the same role.”

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