Durban, South Africa: Tens of thousands of people in colourful regalia gathered at a huge soccer stadium in the coastal city of Durban on Saturday to celebrate the official coronation of South Africa´s Zulu king.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was to hand over the certificate to formally recognise the 48-year-old new ruler of the country´s richest and most influential traditional monarchy.

Misuzulu Zulu ascended the throne once held by his late father, Goodwill Zwelithini, who died in March 2021 after a diabetes-related illness.

The crowning — the first South Africa has witnessed in more than half a century — comes after a year of bitter feuding over the royal succession that has spilled into the courts.

Although the title of king does not bestow executive power, the monarchs wield great moral influence over more than 11 million Zulus, who make up nearly a fifth of South Africa´s population.

Amabutho, or royal regiments, clad in traditional skirts, faux leopard skin tops, and carrying shields and sticks chanted songs of praise for their king.

Singing and blowing whistles as they slowly and majestically glided around the pitch, women wore broad-brimmed Zulu hats and traditional wraps.

Young girls in equally brightly coloured pleated skirts and beads, excitedly danced and ululated in the 85,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium — which was built for the FIFA 2010 World Cup tournament. (AFP)


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