'Govt threatens Zulu nation'

2008-09-24 00:00

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president and chairman of the provincial house of traditional leaders, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, yesterday fired a broadside at the ANC-led government accusing it of orchestrating the “subversion” of the Zulu monarchy.

“Our monarchy has been systematically emasculated over many generations and even under our current democratic era. It is an attack on our very identity,” Buthelezi said.

He was addressing crowds during a Heritage Day King Shaka commemoration ceremony held at the KwaDukuza Sportsgrounds in Stanger yesterday.

Guests at the event included, among others, ANC president, Jacob Zuma, King Goodwill Zwelithini, Premier Sbu Ndebele, MEC Zweli Mkhize and Cape Judge president John Hlophe, who is from the area.

Buthelezi said that the government has formulated and passed laws that are undermining the Zulu monarchy and the structure of traditional leadership and said very little is being done to protect the institutions.

He was referring to the National House of Traditional Leaders Bill and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill. The two bills have been passed recently by Parliament.

Buthelezi said the two bills impose on the Zulus “a number of elements that are inimical to the traditions, history and needs of KwaZulu-Natal”.

He added that the legislation allowed for the government to meddle in the affairs of the king.

“The legislation also ascribes to the premier and the minister a role in the affairs of the monarchy. This is reminiscent of colonialism and cannot be accepted.

“Our nation is being forced into a mould in which we just do not fit. There is just no way this will work. Our identity cannot be altered to fit the mould. Our traditions cannot be tailored. Our spirit cannot be shrunken. Our history cannot be abbreviated. The Zulu nation will break the mould. We saw this at the battle of Isandlwana,” he said.

KZN Premier Ndebele, who delivered his speech at the event before Buthelezi, said that the government of KZN under the leadership of the ANC had concluded several heritage projects aimed at restoring the pride and dignity of the people of KZN.

These include the commemoration of the Bhambatha rebellion and the construction of the grave of Princess Mkabayi and the unveiling of the statue of King Dinuzulu.

He also announced plans to erect the statue of King Goodwill Zwelithini, the reigning monarch and that of his father King Cyprian Bhekuzulu. “We plan on erecting the statue whilst the king is still alive,” he said.

Zwelithini also addressed the crowds and emphasised the need for moral generation in the Zulu nation.

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