- The police have moved to assure the public that Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini is protected.
- This after Zulu traditional prime minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the king had been left vulnerable with no protection.
- The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and Premier Sihle Zikalala said Buthelezi should have checked with the police before issuing the statement.
The police have rubbished a statement by Zulu traditional prime minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi that they have withdrawn protection services for new Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said protection had not been withdrawn.
"It is rather unfortunate that information of such protection being withdrawn was made public without the SAPS leadership being approached for verification. The royal protection is informed by a threat assessment which is reviewed on an ongoing basis," Naidoo added in a statement on Sunday.
Earlier, Buthelezi issued a statement, decrying the withdrawal of the Police Protection Unit at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace.
He said the police at the palace were informed by KwaZulu-Natal police management that security had been withdrawn "purportedly because his majesty has not yet been installed by government and is thus not entitled to VIP protection".
With the drama that followed the announcement of Misuzulu kaZwelithini's ascension to the Zulu throne, Buthelezi said the lack of security for the new king was of concern and he would be left vulnerable without protectors.
He appealed to the public to help ensure the king's safety.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal cautioned Buthelezi against issuing statements on security matters without verifying such with the police ministry.
ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said: "The security services at KwaKhangelamankengane has not only been retained but reinforced, and this has been confirmed by the minister of police, comrade Bheki Cele.
The African National Congress is is extremely concerned and deeply troubled by the suspected motive of whoever has advised Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi about alleged withdrawal of protection service for His Majesty.
Premier Sihle Zikalala also issued a statement, dismissing Buthelezi's claims, saying the reports were "baseless and misleading".
The premier said he had contacted Cele and other law enforcement authorities to find out if Buthelezi's claims were true.
Following these engagements, we hereby reject these allegations as baseless and misleading. All Royal Palaces are under the protection of the South African Police Services and this will continue. The Royal Protection Services is at the palace as we speak.
Meanwhile, Princess Londiwe Zulu, who was reportedly part of a group that rejected the announcement of Misuzulu kaZwelithini as the heir to the Zulu throne, on Sunday told the SABC the son of the late King Zwelithini, Prince Simakade Zulu, was the rightful heir to the kingdom.
According to the SABC, she said some senior members of the royal household unanimously agreed that Simakade - who was raised by the Regent Queen Mantfombi but is not the son of one of the six royal wives - was the king of the AmaZulu nation.
Her announcement has thrown a spanner in the works, following royal family tensions that saw two court cases launched to challenge the kingship and inheritance.
There were security fears at KwaKhangelamankengane where kaZwelithini was whisked away by his protectors on Friday night after the reading of Mantfombi's will.
Goodwill Zwelithini had ruled the kingdom for more than 50 years.