King Zwelithini remains mum on ICC complaint

Spokesperson for King Goodwill Zwelithini says the monarch will not give comment on the charges laid against him at the International Criminal Court. (AFP)

Spokesperson for King Goodwill Zwelithini says the monarch will not give comment on the charges laid against him at the International Criminal Court. (AFP)

A spokesperson for the Royal Zulu household said on Thursday that the monarch would not be drawn to comment on a complaint of hate speech laid against King Goodwill Zwelithini by a Nigerian human rights organisation with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“We will only respond once we have received a call from the International Criminal Court. They [the organisation] have every right to complain and they took it upon themselves to lodge the complaint. There is nothing we can do about it,” said spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu.

He did however say that he believes that Nigerians were aggrieved.

“We cannot take it for granted that they have run to the media and told them they have complained.
Remember that The Hague still has to investigate the veracity of their complaint and that could take years. So it’s too soon for us to comment on the matter,” said Zulu.

Read: Nigeria group asks ICC to probe king’s ‘hate speech’ 

Zwelithini last month told a gathering in Pongola, northern KZN that “foreigners should pack their bags and go home”.

Xenophobic attacks
Following his remarks, a spate of xenophobic attacks surfaced in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. It is reported that at least seven people have been killed and thousands have been displaced.

Meanwhile, political analyst Protas Madlala said he was very disappointed in the Nigerian organisation and government.

He also admitted that he had never heard of a monarch being hauled before the International Criminal Court.

“But this does not look good for Nigeria. Why did they have to go all the way to The Hague instead of raising the matter with the African Union (AU)? We have always condemned these colonial powers and now when it suits them, they run to them,” said Madlala.

He believes that Nigerians are a nation that is “jealous of South Africa and full of arrogance”.

“They obviously view us as competition. They have their own problems and yet they have time to run to The Hague about South African problems. I believe this will create further tensions between Nigerians and people who have strong support for the king here in KwaZulu-Natal.”

He said this would also create tensions between Nigerians living in South Africa and South Africans.

‘No confidence’
“What they have done shows a vote of no confidence in the AU and Dr Nkosazana-Zuma. There hasn’t been an onslaught on Nigerians during the xenophobic attacks. For me they have undermined the AU,” said Madlala.

He said even if Zwelithini was to get arrested for his comments, it would not address the root cause of xenophobia.

“It won’t erase the tensions that would have been created between South Africa and Nigeria, nor would it have dealt with problems facing South Africa. There are hundreds of countries dealing with the same issues and they have focused on controlling what is happening on their boarders,” said Madlala.

He questioned why Nigerian organisations hadn’t taken Synagogue Church of all Nation cleric TB Joshua to task.

“They have so many problems that they are dealing with. Why haven’t they taken TB Joshua to the ICC to explain why so many South Africans died in the building collapse in Nigeria?” asked Madlala. – News24 

Amanda Khoza

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