Call for clarity on king's gay remarks
Durban - The General Council of the Bar of SA (GCB) has joined a chorus of concern about the homophobic statements attributed to Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini.
"The GCB has noted with grave concern the homophobic comments attributed to the Zulu King," council chairperson Gerrit Pretorius said.
If the statement was made, it was wholly unacceptable and an affront to constitutional values, he said.
According to The Times, Zwelithini told guests in Nquthu that "traditionally" there were no people who engaged in same sex-relationships.
"There was nothing like that and if you do it, you must know that you are rotten. I don't care how you feel about it. If you do it, you must know that it is wrong and you are rotten. Same sex is not acceptable," he was quoted as saying.
Zwelithini reportedly said this as he delivered his speech on Sunday at the 133rd commemoration of the January 22, 1879 battle of Isandlwana.
The statement attributed to the king has caused a huge stir.
Some people have criticised the reporters for "reckless" interpretation, while gays and lesbian activist groups criticised the king's reported statement.
Pretorius said the GCB had also noted the fact that the Zulu royal household denied the allegations and blamed it on a "reckless translation".
"The GCB hopes that the matter will be clarified as soon as possible and that the king, if the statements attributed to him are false, will unequivocally distance himself from the statements, alternatively issue an apology and retract them."
On Monday, the Zulu royal household criticised what it described as a "reckless translation" of Zwelithini's speech.
"At no stage did His Majesty condemn gay relations or same sex relations," his spokesperson Prince Mbonisi Zulu said.