/ 24 April 2024

Misuzulu warns KZN government of treating Zulu nation ‘with disdain’ as praise singer contract is terminated

King Misuzulu Dsc 3963
King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini.

Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has accused the KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier of disrespecting him as ruler of the Zulu nation.

In a media statement released by the king’s prime minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, on Tuesday, Misuzulu cited the department’s decision to “terminate the employment contract of his imbongi (praise singer)” as an act of disrespect to the Zulu Royal House.

The imbongi, Buzetsheni Mdletshe, whose role, among others, was to usher in Misuzulu during traditional ceremonies, has been on the payroll of the premier’s department for several years.

According to the media statement issued by Buthelezi on behalf of the king, the department recently terminated Mdletshe’s employment contract.

“His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has expressed his extreme displeasure in the disrespectful manner in which the KZN government continues to treat him.

“In the latest incident, the Office of the Premier has terminated the employment contract of His Majesty’s cultural advisor, Inyosi Buzetsheni Mdletshe,” the statement read.

The termination of Mdletshe’s employment contract, Buthelezi said, was done without any consultation with the king.

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

Mdletshe, who was also the Imbongi of the late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, has been a Zulu Royal Family praise singer since 1977.

“He is a trusted and senior official attached to the daily activities of His Majesty. His Majesty cautions the KZN government that the disdain with which they treat the royal family in general, and His Majesty in particular, is an affront to the Zulu nation,” Buthelezi said.

The king’s criticism of the premier’s office comes weeks after he launched an investigation into the conduct of KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Siboniso Duma, following an incident during an event attended by the Misuzulu and President Cyril Ramaphosa in kwaCeza, outside Ulundi, a month ago.

Duma, who was the programme director of the event, grabbed the microphone from Buthelezi as the Zulu traditional prime minister was delivering a speech.

The premier’s office said Mdletshe’s contract as an employee expired in 2020 when he reached the retirement age of 65. The contract he had following that was that of a service provider, it added.

This article first appeared in The Witness.