Royal role

2009-02-19 00:00

It has become a tradition that King Goodwill Zwelithini formally opens the Kwazulu-Natal legislature each year. This expresses a desire to mesh together the elected democratic order with the hereditary Zulu monarchy in the province. Zwelithini has in the past been wooed for support by both of the main political parties in the province, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African National Congress. Since he represents all the people, regardless of their political persuasion, it has been important for the king to have an independent voice.

He revealed this by implication at this week’s opening of the legislature when he appealed to all politicians to serve the best interests of every citizen and to avoid the pitfalls of nepotism and cronyism, dishonesty and greed. Moreover, he asked for education to be freely administered without interference from politicians and trade unions. Zwelithini also offered a timely warning against hate speech and political violence in the current electioneering climate. The Zulu king has spoken like a statesman who should be listened to on all sides.

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