Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu loses last-minute bid to amend her court papers.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court has dismissed an application by Queen Sibongile Dlamini-Zulu to amend her court papers, so that she could challenge the validity of the five marriages of late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Acting KwaZulu-Natal judge president Isaac Madondo handed down his judgment on Wednesday morning, saying the queen did not advance reasonable reasons to amend her court papers.
This significantly weakens her case where she wants to inherit 50% of the late king’s estate (believed to be in the region of R200 million) on the basis that she was the first wife and was married in civil rites and in community of property in 1969.
In her founding court papers, she said the rest of the queens and royal children would inherit the rest of the estate and was not seeking to have them evicted from their various palaces.
Dlamini-Zulu, who is Zwelithini’s first wife and got married to him in a civil rites marriage, approached the high court in 2020 seeking an order to be declared the only lawful wife of the late king, and to inherit 50% of his estate.
The bid to amend the court papers followed Queen Dlamini-Zulu’s application on Tuesday to recuse judge Madondo from hearing her main application, arguing that he was conflicted due to the fact that he had officiated at one of Zwelithini’s customary weddings.
Judge Madondo denied that he was conflicted and indicated that the queen did not state in her court papers that she wanted a declaratory order that the customary marriages were invalid.
Although the queen has lost her application to amend the defective court papers so that she could challenge the other five marriages of the late king, the second part of the royal case would go ahead later on Wednesday as scheduled.
In this second part of the case, the queen’s two daughters, Princess Ntantoyenkosi and Ntombisuthu are challenging the validity of the will of the late king on the basis that one of the signatures is forged.
The legal showdown over the AmaZulu throne followed the king's death in March last year at age 72 after 50 years on the throne. He left behind his six wives and at least 28 children.
In his will, Zwelithini had named his favourite, third wife Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini, as regent of the Zulu nation.
But Shiyiwe died suddenly in April – just a month after the king – leaving a will designating their son Misuzulu Zulu, 47, to ascend to the throne.