News24

Bull killing: King confident

2009-11-30 11:01

Durban - Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's office on Monday said it was optimistic that the court would rule in its favour in the controversial issue of bare-handed bull killing.

"We view this court challenge as nothing but a religious persecution for the Zulu people and the Nguni tribe in general," said Zwelithini’s spokesperson, Nhlanhla Mtaka.

Animal Rights Africa (ARA) will be in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday to stop the Ukweshwama ritual, scheduled to take place on December 5 at Zwelithini's palace in Nongoma.

The king's lawyers and other respondents were expected to file their papers on Monday or early on Tuesday.

There is some urgency in the case as the clock is ticking fast for the organisers of the ceremony who have just a few days to prepare.

Ukweshwama is a symbolic way of thanking God for the first crops of the season.

Cruel

ARA argues that the manner in which bulls are killed during the ritual is cruel.

Mtaka said preparations for the ceremony were afoot, adding that the animal group took the matter on to gain publicity.

"We view this as nothing but a publicity stunt aimed at seeking donations. It will be interesting to see how many donations they have received after taking this matter to the media."

He said people would start arriving at the palace on Wednesday to prepare for the ceremony.

The king last Tuesday boycotted a meeting convened by Pat Mkhize, commissioner for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities, to resolve a dispute over a bull-killing ritual.

The meeting was only attended by ARA representatives.

The other respondents in the case are the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize and the province's MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs, Nomusa Dube.

ARA was not immediately available to comment.