Premier comments on Zulu king’s gay speech

2012-01-24 13:21

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize has challenged anyone who claimed to have evidence of a homophobic statement made by the Zulu king to produce it.

Addressing members of the Royal Household portfolio committee in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, he expressed disappointment at the interpretation of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s speech.

The speech was delivered on Sunday at the 133rd commemoration of the January 22 1879 Battle of Isandlwana.

According to Mkhize, the Zulu king had denounced any form of abuse, and had not lashed out at gays and lesbians.

The South African Human Rights Commission said today that it would write to Zwelithini to determine whether he had, in fact, made homophobic statements.

According to The Times newspaper, Zwelithini told guests in Nquthu that “traditionally, there were no people who engaged in same sex relationships”.

“There was nothing like that and if you do it, you must know that you are rotten. I don’t care how you feel about it. If you do it, you must know that it is wrong and you are rotten. Same sex is not acceptable,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.

The Zulu Royal Household today criticised the “reckless translation” of King Zwelithini’s speech.

“At no stage did His Majesty condemn gay relations or same sex relations,” his spokesperson Prince Mbonisi Zulu said.

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