KWANONGOMA, South Africa (AP) – South Africa’s ethnic Zulu nation is preparing to host a coronation event for its new traditional king amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart.
King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, a son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini who died in March last year, will today undergo the traditional ritual known as ukungena esibayeni (entering the royal village) to mark his installation as the new leader of the Zulu nation.
The Zulu ethnic group is South Africa’s largest with more than 12 million people who are mainly located in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Zulu nation is historically recognised as having waged fierce resistance to British colonialism under King Shaka Zulu from 1816 to 1828.
The ceremony is expected to be attended by thousands of Zulu people including members of the royal family, traditional leaders of other ethnic groups and members of the Zulu nation.
It will proceed despite challenges from some members of the royal family who insist that Misuzulu is not the rightful heir to the throne.