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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 10:33 GMT
In pictures: Africa's royals
King Goodwill Zwelithini
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Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini remains apolitical, steering clear of South Africa's day-to-day politics
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the Ashanti
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Like his Zulu counterpart, Ghana's Asantehene does not directly get involved in national politics, but his influence and reputation are wide-ranging.
Swaziland's King Mswati III
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Swaziland's King Mswati on the other hand is an absolute monarch and rules by decree. He is above the law in a country where political parties are banned.
A Zulu warrior
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Zulus have been campaigning to have their king and kingdom recognised by the South African constitution.
Ghana's Asantehene with Ashanti elders
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In rural Africa, traditional leaders rule the roost. Some are even feared. They are seen not only as the custodians of culture but as the key to survival with access to resources such as land.




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