SA must 'recognise Zulu kingdom'

Inkatha Freedom Party leader and traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Saturday called for the recognition of the Zulu kingdom.

Addressing an imbizo (meeting) of the Zulu nation outside Durban, Buthelezi said: “We are not speaking about the position of the king alone. Our kingdom is broader than his majesty alone.”

At the start of his address, Buthelezi dismissed as “lies” charges that the imbizo amounted to nothing but an IFP rally as it had not been called by King Goodwill Zwelithini.

He had called it at the request of the amakhosi and members of the Zulu royal house when he could not get an audience with the king, and senior princes were excluded from making proposals on the drafting of a constitution for KwaZulu-Natal.

The KwaZulu-Natal constitutional ad hoc committee formulating the constitution has been entreated to recognise the king officially and entrench in the constitution the role of the traditional prime minister.

Buthelezi told thousands of people gathered at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday he had called them to the imbizo because “the present situation is serious and grave”.

“The status of our kingdom is a matter of enormous concern for anyone who thinks of himself or herself as a Zulu,” he said.

This was the second imbizo of combined clans of the Zulu nation and—as with the first one held in 1995—the king had again distanced himself from it, Buthelezi said.

The first imbizo had adopted a sacred covenant in which everyone had committed their lives, fortune and honour to the restoration and honour of the kingdom.

Ten years later, all promises that have been dishonoured and betrayed have to be registered, he said.

According to Buthelezi, there is a Bill before the KwaZulu-Natal legislature based on the National Framework on Traditional Leadership and Governance Act.

However, it does not address the issue of the institution of the monarchy, only perks for the monarch.

“We have now come full circle, where it is clear that broken promises of 11 years ago have now precluded any possibility for our kingdom to ever be recognised and accommodated within a unified South Africa.

“The very conditions upon which we entered the 1994 elections have now been undermined.”

Buthelezi said the Zulu nation wants to live in a country that will enable them to be Zulus to the fullest extent possible, and they are not willing to relinquish being Zulus in order to be South Africans.—Sapa

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