Premier’s office defends king, denounces apartheid

2015-12-07 22:12
King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

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Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Premiers office on Monday seemingly came out in defence of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s alleged pro-National Party comments saying the he was entitled to freedom of speech.

The Zulu king reportedly praised apartheid’s National Party saying it had “built a mighty army” and that the economy was stronger under its reign.

But on Monday, the Royal Household said the King was speaking as someone who had lived through apartheid and knew the good and the bad of the system.

In a statement on Monday, Premier Senzo Mchunu’s acting spokesperson Sibusiso Magwaza said the comments were only relayed through the media and that the office of the premier did not "have the benefit of understanding the context under which these comments were made".

"Freedom of speech which is guaranteed in our constitution is an inherent right for everyone in our country. This includes our king."

Magwaza added that the relationship between provincial government and the king was "good".

"It will always be dangerous to speculate on matters relating to the king, and I would suggest we don’t speculate, or rely on insinuations. The king and our premier have an open line of communication, therefore we must not be too much concerned about their relationship."

Magwaza however did add that there was no comparison between the National Party and the current democratic government.

"It is important to remember that apartheid government was only providing for the race based minority, whilst the current government which we represent as the Premier’s office, provide for the whole South African society. As the Premier’s office, we stand for the democratic government and the progress it is making to better the lives of the ordinary people who were marginalized by the very apartheid.

"It must be noted that apartheid was declared as a crime against humanity by the United Nations. We cannot therefore appraise any glimpse of good from any institutions of an illegitimate government," he said.

The king was speaking at KwaKhethomthandayo royal palace in Nongoma on Saturday night during the celebration of his 44 years as king of the Zulu nation.

The Mercury reported on Monday that Zwelithini praised the National Party, saying it "had built a powerful government with the strongest economy and army on the continent, but then came 'this so-called democracy' in 'which black people started destroying the gains of the past'".

Read more on:    anc  |  goodwill zwelithini  |  durban  |  politics

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