South Africa: Zulu king’s aide killed by ‘unknown gunmen’

South Africa’s Zulu king Misuzulu kaZwelithini attends a traditional ceremony at the royal palace
© Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images

Asenior adviser to new Zulu King Misuzulu was reportedly gunned down after attending a traditional ceremony. It is unclear whether his death is linked to a bitter succession dispute within the royal family.

The chief adviser and confidant to South Africa’s new Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has been killed after attending a traditional ceremony, a local official said Sunday.

Dumisani Blasius Khumalo’s death comes amid a bitter succession battle in the Zulu royal family following the death of King Zwelithini last year.

The conflict has seen three princes vie for the position and while Misuzulu Zulu was crowned king last month, a rival prince is still contesting the decision.

What do we know about the killing?

Khumalo, who was 76 years old, was killed by unknown gunmen on Saturday night shortly after attending the traditional Reed Dance in Nongoma, Sihle Zikalala, a member of the regional legislature, said in a statement.

Local media reported that Khumalo was attacked as he approached his residence.

It is unclear whether his killing is related to the succession spat. But Khumalo was responsible for settling disputes within the Zulu community.

Security had been stepped up after opponents of the new ruler had issued threats and predicted a “bloodbath” if the celebration went ahead.

King MisuZulu described his grief, saying “my heart is very sore that something like this has happened to us.”

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