South Africa

King Misuzulu’s lawyers demand nearly R9m in unpaid legal fees from KZN government

King Misuzulu kaZwelithini lawyers KZN government

Lawyers representing Zulu King Misizulu kaZwelithini have reportedly given KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) government 30 days to pay nearly R9 million in legal fees owed to them.

The Zulu King’s lawyers, who represented the monarch in legal battles related to the throne and other matters, have written to KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncude in a letter, which they demand the outstanding fees from 2023.

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The Sunday Times has reported that the lawyers has repeatedly sent invoices amounting to R8.5 million, but haven’t been paid yet.

Payment arrangement were apparently agreed upon by then acting KZN premier Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu and the lawyers in the presence of Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa and MEC Siboniso Duma in a meeting held in September 2023.

The lawyers, in the letter dated 3 January, threatened to take further legal action if the fees were not paid.

The provincial legislature later approved a budget of R20 million to fund the King’s legal battles.

The royal house told the publication that it was astounded that the fees had not been paid.

READ MORE: ‘His Majesty remains heir to the throne’ – Ramaphosa to appeal King Misuzulu ruling

An extract lifted from the lawyers’ letter read: “We record that on numerous occasions we submitted various invoices to the office of the premier for payment as per the instructions of both his majesty and the premier, emanating from an executive decision to the effect that payment of legal fees and disbursements on behalf of his majesty, in respect of the above matters, will be made by the premier.”

The letter further stated that despite the above undertaking for payment, “no payment whatsoever has been made to date”.

Zulu throne battle

In December, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to recognise King Misuzulu as the rightful heir to the throne, following the death of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu in 2021, was unlawful and invalid.

While the court did not rule that the king should step aside, it ordered that Ramaphosa appoint a committee to investigate allegations of violation of customary laws in the identification of King Misuzulu.

Additionally, the Zulu King was ordered to pay the costs of his half-brother, Prince Simakade Zulu.

Ramaphosa is appealing the court’s judgment.

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