Zwelithini wanted Zim trip kept secret – report

2015-08-12 14:15
King Goodwill Zwelithini. (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

King Goodwill Zwelithini. (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

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Cape Town – King Goodwill Zwelithini's entourage wanted his impending visit to Zimbabwe kept a secret amid security concerns, a report said on Wednesday.

Zwelithini is reportedly set to visit Zimbabwe's mining town of Gwanda in Matabeleland South at the end of August to attend the wedding ceremony of a South African-based Zimbabwean businessman.

The event will also coincide with the opening of a new Brethren in Christ church building in the town.

Zwelithini's visit to Zimbabwe comes a few months after he was accused of instigating xenophobic violence which erupted in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng after he made comments that "foreigners must pack their bags and go home".

The attacks claimed the lives of four South Africans and three foreigners.


Thousands were displaced and the Zimbabwean government repatriated around 1 000 nationals.

Zwelithini later lambasted the media for "choosing to deliberately distort what was an innocent outcry against crime and destruction of property".

Organisers of the event in Zimbabwe said Zwelithin’s entourage had requested that his visit be kept a secret for security reasons, state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Zimbabweans took to social media after the announcement of his visit on Sunday and expressed mixed feelings.

While some said the Zulu king should not be allowed into the country, others supported his intended visit.

'I haven't heard about the trip'

"King Goodwill Zwelithini must not be allowed to visit Gwanda Zimbabwe due to the fact that foreigners lost their lives due to the words he uttered. He was the main cause of xenophobia attack. He called foreigners lice. What does he want in Zimbabwe then?" Casper Ngwenya wrote on his Facebook page.

A New Zimbabwe.com report said on Tuesday that activists in Bulawayo welcomed Zwelithini’s visit.

"What made those people leave their country for South Africa in the first place? It had nothing to do with King Goodwill Zwelithini," Mbuso Fuzwayo, an activist from the group Ibhetshu LikaZulu, was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, a Times Live report quoted Zwelithini's aides on Wednesday as saying they were not aware of his trip to Zimbabwe.

"I haven't heard anything about the trip as I have not seen the invite," the king's aide, Nhlamvuyelanga Sithole, was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    king goodwill zwelethini  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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