Xenophobia: SA's King Bhungane III says sorry to Zimbabwe

2015-09-01 14:00
File: News24

File: News24

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Harare – South Africa's King Bhungane III of AmaHlubi was reportedly in Zimbabwe over the weekend, where he apologised for the xenophobic attacks earlier this year in which at least seven people died.

The xenophobic violence, which took place in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, also saw thousands being displaced.

The Zimbabwean government had to repatriate around 1 000 of its nationals.

The Royal Council of AmaHlubi are found in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the North West, with descendants that can be traced back to Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

The violence was blamed on Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who was accused of instigating the attacks after he made comments that "foreigners must pack their bags and go home".

Zwelithini, however, denied the allegations, saying the media had distorted "what was an innocent outcry against crime and destruction of property".

According to The Standard, King Bhungane told journalists in Bulawayo that South Africa and Zimbabwe should co-exist as they shared a common heritage.

Xenophobia victims

South Africans should appreciate that they have a "deep background they share with Zimbabwe", he said.

King Bhungane, however made it clear that he was not speaking on behalf of Zwelithini.

"I will not speak on behalf of the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, but as the people of AmaHlubi, we want to reach out to the families of xenophobia victims... We want to assure them that we are mourning with them because what happened is not welcome," King Bhungane was quoted as saying.

King Bhungane was among a high-profile list of South Africans who were in the country for a two-night gospel gala.

Reports last month indicated Zwelithini was supposed to attend the same event. Doubts about his attendance, however, emerged when his aides said they were not aware of his trip to Zimbabwe.

The announcement of Zwelithini's intended visit saw Zimbabweans taking to social media, with some saying he was not allowed into the country, while others supported the trip.

Read more on:    king goodwill zwelithini  |  zimbabwe  |  xenophobia  |  southern africa

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