KwaZulu Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has rejected claims that his office is meddling in the Zulu royal house.
Zikalala met with the newly appointed king Misuzulu Ka Zwelithini on Thursday ahead of the Premier’s budget speech on Friday.
It remains to be seen how much of the budget has been allocated to the royal house.
Zikalala could not give much details during a media briefing outside Kwakhangela palace in Nongoma north of KZN after his meeting with the King.
“The issue of the budget is an administrative process, which has already been finalized and we will present it tomorrow. It is in line with the state of the province address,” Zikalala said.
He said his office would continue supporting the royal house and the government would not meddle in the Zulu royal house’s internal affairs.
King’s first day in office
The new king has officially begun his duties. On Thursday he held a host of meetings with different dignitaries. Among them were the Jerome Ngwenya, chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board, and KZN provincial police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was also sighted at the palace.
It is understood that Ngwenya came to meet with the king to discuss issues of the Ingonyama Trust in which the king is the sole trustee.
The trust manages millions of hectares of land in KZN. It is understood that the trust’s board term is coming to an end and a new board will have to be named.
The king is understood to be in discussions with the provincial commissioner of police to iron out confusion around royal security issues.
Premier Sihle Zikalala after the meeting told journalists the government would continue providing security to the royal family.
He said that a unit that was temporarily deployed to assist the royal family during the funeral preparations for late queen regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu was withdrawn after it completed its duties.
“There was a communication about the changes in terms of one unit that was assisting the king at that time and that unit was deployed for a temporary period. It was not there during the past king’s reign,” Zikalala said.
The new queen
The king on Thursday sent a delegation to Newcastle to pay lobola for his future wife.
It is understood that the king’s wife will descend on the royal house on Friday and accompany the king to eSwatini where she will meet the king’s extended family, King Mswati III.
The king will be fetching his belongings from eSwatini where he has been staying since the death of his mother.
He made his first public appearance last week at the memorial service for the late regent queen.
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