Make peace, king tells parties

2012-12-28 00:00

IT was the turn of the politicians to appeal for peace in KwaZulu-Natal on the second day of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s cleansing ceremony.

President Jacob Zuma attended the event at Enyokeni Royal Palace in kwaNongoma yesterday and used the opportunity to defend comments he had made the previous day about animal lovers placing their pets ahead of humans.

He also said a national summit to be headed by former Archbishop Desmond Tutu would be held to address the moral rot in the country.

“The summit … will dovetail with the king’s initiative because we all agree that something is rotten in South Africa.”

Referring to his controversial remarks in Impendle, where he called for a distinction between black and white culture, Zuma said Zulus loved dogs because they were hunters.

But, he added, there was a time when a dog owner would rather have the dog sitting in the cab of the bakkie while a black man would be sitting at the back when it was pouring with rain.

“We need to instil a culture of discipline and respect for one another as well as the fear of God or ancestors, because if we don’t have fear we are bound to do something wrong,” Zuma said.

Sharing the stage were fierce political rivals — National Freedom Party president Zanele Magwaza-Msibi and Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Magwaza-Msibi said her party was fully behind the peace initiative and promised to co-operate with other parties.

Buthelezi spoke about his unhappiness that the ANC had said his party had an unfinished agenda of reconciliation.

“I have never resigned from the ANC,” he said to loud applause from the packed venue.

He said he had been raised by former leaders of the ANC like Pixley Ka Seme and Chief Albert Luthuli, and the only reason he was not arrested during the apartheid era was the establishment’s fear that Zulus might revolt.

“I was saved from jail because of my royal blood, but I continued to fight for peace and I am still committed to peace,” Buthelezi said.

Zwelithini reminded all political leaders present that they were leading his people.

“You are leading my people and I have never ordered for any of my people to be killed.

“So after this function, please continue to broker peace because I cannot rest while my people are dying like this.”

The king appealed to all South Africans to come together.

“Let us together work to reunite our people as one family. Today, let us give our people the hope of a better tomorrow.”

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