Zulu King runs medical exams; suspects poisoning after advisor's death
King Misuzulu has undergone extensive medical examination in Eswatini after the sudden death of his advisor during a visit to Eswatini.
The Zulu king of South Africa, the leader of the country's influential traditional monarchy, has undergone extensive medical examinations following the unexpected death of a close advisor, raising suspicions of poisoning, a spokesperson said on Sunday.
King Misuzulu Zulu, who was visiting Eswatini at the time, underwent thorough medical exams as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 context and the sudden demise of his advisor, according to AFP.
Prince Africa Zulu, speaking on behalf of the king, stated that the examinations were prompted by concerns over his health. Misuzulu, aged 48, assumed the throne last year after a contentious dispute over the royal succession following the demise of his father, Goodwill Zwelithini.
The Zulu Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, released a statement saying that the king had been hospitalized in Eswatini after falling ill and that he believed he had been poisoned.
However, the royal spokesperson later confirmed that the king was in good health and not currently admitted to any hospital, criticizing the dissemination of unfounded claims about his health.
Police sources in Eswatini revealed to AFP that heightened security was observed at a private hospital near Eswatini's royal residence. While the Zulu monarch does not hold executive power, they exert significant moral influence over the 11 million Zulu people, comprising nearly one-fifth of South Africa's population.
Misuzulu, the first son of King Zwelithini's third wife, was designated as the next king in his father's will. However, tensions arose within the family when the queen, who had been acting as regent, passed away a month after King Zwelithini, leaving a will that named Misuzulu as the successor.
The current king preferred treatment in Eswatini due to the circumstances surrounding his parents' deaths following treatment in South Africa. In a separate incident last September, another counselor to the Zulu king was fatally shot during a traditional ceremony under mysterious circumstances.