President Cyril Ramaphosa crowned King Misuzulu Zwelithini by handing him a certificate of recognition as the leader of the Zulu nation during a colourful ceremony held at the fully-packed Moses Mabhida Stadium in the eastern coastal city of Durban on Saturday.
Speaking before thousands at the stadium, Ramaphosa said he was committed to working hand-in-hand with the AmaZulu King for the development of the nation and South Africa.
The president said the occasion marked a rich history that would be taught in schools for generations to come.
He said: “I’m here to commit my government to working with His Majesty to change the lives of our people and to transform our rural areas into places of development and prosperity.”
“I do so to recognise that our traditional leaders are the true custodians of the cultures, the customs and traditions that make us who we are,” he added.
The handing over of the certificate marked a new era for the Zulu nation, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said, describing the new Zulu monarch as the “hope and father of the Zulu people.”
“By this single act, the president has performed in the full glory of the world that today he has opened a new page in the life of our nation,” the premier said.
“This has propelled us into new adventures under certain leadership and guidance of our King. You are the hope and the father of the Zulu nation irrespective of political parties,” she added.
Ramaphosa recognised Misuzulu as the king-elect of the AmaZulu nation after consulting Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Sihle Zikalala, the former Premier of KwaZulu-Natal before he stepped down from the office.
King Misuzulu officially ascended to the throne of the Zulu kingdom at the traditional coronation held at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace in Nongoma on 20 August 2022.
The occasion included a ritual where he hunted and killed a lion.
Although the king had made several public appearances, for many, this was the day the nation had been waiting for to see their king in a crown.
The certificate handover ceremony of the ninth AmaZulu king took place after King Misuzulu ascended to the throne following the passing of his father, King Goodwill Zwelithini Zulu in March last year, and the subsequent passing away of his mother, the Regent Queen Mantfombi Dlamini in 2021 – who was the sister of Mswati III, the Eswatini king.
Cabinet Ministers, KwaZulu-Natal senior government officials, politicians and ordinary citizens attended the ceremony at the stadium.