King slams killings, no-go areas in KZN

2014-03-05 00:00

KING Goodwill Zwelithini yesterday denounced the re-emergence of political violence and “no-go” areas in KwaZulu-Natal, saying those wanting to plunge the province into darkness should be named and shamed.

Speaking during the opening of the KZN Legislature in Pietermaritzburg, the Zulu king said the commitments made in 1994, when South Africa went to the polls as a united nation, included doing away with no-go areas and murders because of political differences.

“My message to the leaders and supporters of political parties is that as you go to the elections, you will never be voted by corpses because corpses don’t vote, but it is the people who are living that vote,” he said.

The king added that voters should not allow themselves to be used as pawns in political violence because it was them, not their leaders, who died.

Zwelithini made the statements a day after political parties in the province signed a code of conduct, pledging their commitment to free and fair elections without intimidation and violence.

The ceremony took place following recent incidents of suspected political violence and of parties being prevented from campaigning in some parts of the province.

The king said South Africa could have followed the path taken by Rwanda and been plunged into genocide, but had gone to the 1994 polls committed to peace, reconciliation and development.

“That is why when we hear that there are places that do not get development because of their political affiliation, we get unhappy.

“We can’t keep quiet when we hear that there are places where people are killed because of politics and we also hear there are people who say there are no-go areas,” he said.

Zwelithini called on the Zulu nation to name and shame those who wanted to return the province to the days of political violence, regardless of their political affiliation.

“They must know that we don’t share the same wishes. Since they are not part of our dreams, we must distance ourselves from them.”

During his address on the matter, a visibly angry Zwelithini berated members of his audience who chatted when he spoke. “I speak here as a king. I ask to be given the respect I deserve. I do not want people to talk when I speak,” he said.

Zwelithini expressed dismay at the Richmond incident over the weekend where three people, including one person visiting from overseas, were killed.

“What type of a nation kills its visitors? Why are you not scared to kill? Were you taught to kill? There must be a prayer to rid these demons of killing,” he said.

Zwelithini also welcomed the announcement by President Jacob Zuma that the land claims process would be re-opened.

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