Zulu king under pressure to retract xenophobic comments
by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESSURE is mounting on Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithi to call-off his alleged utterances against foreign nationals living in South Africa.
This follows the killings of some of these nationals, increased violence as well as looting of foreign owned shops.
Two weeks ago, Zwelithini was quoted as saying, “all foreigners must pack their bags and leave the country.”
The Zulu king received support from President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, who insisted that all foreigners living in South Africa should be deported.
Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN] national spokesman, Lucky Lukhele, said his pressure group was extremely critical of the traditional leader’s behaviour.
“As Africans we ought to be extremely critical of our so-called traditional leaders because clearly most of them are not aware of their responsibilities. No matter what each person’s personal opinion is on South African chiefs and kings, unfortunately there is a significant section of the population that takes their every word seriously.
“There is no greater example of this than the new spate of xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu Natal which come after Zwelithini’s faux pas. King Goodwill Zwelithini has to take full responsibility for those attacks,” Lukhele said on Tuesday.
He said he was wondering how a grown man of such stature could utter such “irresponsible” statements repeatedly was “beyond common sense.”
“One is left wondering if it is not mere populist rhetoric meant to justify the millions of tax-payers’ money used for his upkeep. If it is then he should be advised that there are more pressing and responsible issues that a traditional leader is best placed to address.
“He (King Zwelithini) could be addressing the declining marriage rates within our African populations for example and seeking young people’s views on issues such as lobola.
“South Africa loses hundreds of young men every year due to botched circumcisions; that is another issue that a traditional leader is best placed to have input on,” Lukhele said.
He said it was hypocritical for a king of Zwelithini’s stature to expend his energies inciting xenophobic views instead of resolving decaying cultural values and morals in the country as custodians of tradition.
“Most people may not remember but when Zwelithini was having issues with his uncle Gatsha Buthelezi he fled to Swaziland where he lived as the Swazi king’s guest of honour for a prolonged period of time.
“He was a foreigner there, living off the Swazi people, and yet nobody called for his deportation,” Lukhele charged.
He added that as if that were not enough, his other son Misizulu, was educated in Swaziland at St Michael’s primary school.
Misizulu is the elder brother to the one who recently passed out as a soldier in the Swaziland Defense Force.
“Where does the hypocrisy end? The Zulu royal family and the South African Department of Cooperative governance and Traditional Affairs should call him to order.”
South Africa is home to millions of foreign nationals that have fled economic and political challenges in their home countries.
– CAJ News
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