Prince Simakade Zulu is the firstborn son of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini. He was born of out wedlock and was raised at KwaKhangelamankengane palace in Nongoma, the home of the late Zulu Queen regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, while she was being groomed for the throne.

King Goodwill Zwelithini Succession

On 12 May 2021, a few days after the burial of the late Zulu Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, Simakade asked Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to read out a statement to the media in Durban, saying he was not after the throne and he was fully behind the reign of King Misuzulu Zulu.

However, Prince Simakade Zulu’s name was submitted to KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala’s office to be considered for the Zulu throne. Royal insiders on the side of Prince Simakade said his claim to the throne was that although he was born of out wedlock, he was raised at KwaKhangelamankengane palace in Nongoma, the home of late Zulu queen regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, while she was being groomed for the throne.

However, his opponents said that would have only happened if he was culturally adopted by the late queen, and only in the event, the queen had no children of her own. Now that she had her own six children, Prince Simakade could not claim the throne.

While Prince Simakade neither took calls nor responded to WhatsApp messages regarding the matter, Princess Thembi confidently confirmed that she knew about the letter, but said she did not want to say more because there were still in mourning in the royal court.[1]

Responding to news that he had issued a statement that he did not intend to challenge King Misuzulu, Prince Simakade said the statement was “misunderstood or deliberately distorted”. He was not explicit about who distorted the statement or how it was misunderstood.

Prince Simakade said the question as to who would be heir to the throne was an exclusive prerogative of the Zulu royal family. He said:

“This is so, in terms of our centuries-old succession tradition, as well as the law, namely the KwaZulu Natal Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act."

Regarding the issue of his statement where he pledged that he had no ambition for the throne, he said:

“It is true that I requested HRH Prince MG Buthelezi to read my statement, with a hope that it was going to be received for what it was. However, it has been my regrettable observation that the statement seems to have been misunderstood or deliberately distorted. I, therefore, wish to reiterate my position. I have not expressed a wish or desire to be heir to the position of monarch of the Zulu nation. Certainly not to HRH Prince MG Buthelezi, nor to any other person, as stated in my original statement. Notwithstanding my clear and unambiguous position, stated in my statement, circumstances have compelled me to repeat what I previously said, namely that if the Zulu royal family - which as you may know has the exclusive jurisdiction and right to appoint the heir to the throne - were to nominate and appoint me, I would not dishonour its wishes. I further stated that, if someone other than me were to be duly nominated and appointed I will accept that decision, and pledge my full and unreserved support for him.”



  1. Sihle Mavuso, Prince Simakade emerges as surprise contender for the Zulu throne, IOL, Published: June 1, 2021, Retrieved: June 19, 2021
  2. Sihle Mavuso, Fight for Zulu throne: Prince Simakade speaks, says statement about loyalty to King Misuzulu is a ’deliberate distortion’, IOL, Published: June 2, 2021, Retrieved: June 19, 2021