Report on king ‘didn’t cover all’

2015-12-03 12:09
King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

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Pietermaritzburg - The SA Human Rights Commission’s preliminary report on Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s comments on foreigners did not touch the issue of interest, the African Diaspora Forum chairperson Marc Gbaffou said.

The report absolved the king of inciting violence against foreigners in his speech in Pongola where he said foreigners must pack their belongings and go back to their countries.

African Diaspora Forum, Lawyers for Human Rights and 29 individuals had complained to the commission that the king’s utterances amounted to hate speech and linked the utterances to the xenophobic attacks that broke out afterwards.

Gbaffou said the “sensitivity of the issue” might have led to the commission “not properly addressing the issue”.

“We are cautious of the fact that he is our king, and that we must treat him with respect. But the law is above all of us.

“That is why we want the subject of interest, which is inciting violence, to be properly addressed. The finding is too thin for this volatile kind of situation,” he said.

Gbaffou maintained that they believe the king’s utterances led to the outbreak of the violent attacks in the province earlier this year.

He said the attacks only moved to Durban after Zwelithini’s speech.

“Maybe people on the ground misunderstood his comments, we do not know. All we want is justice to be served,” he said.

Gbaffou said he hoped the final report would address the issue properly.

“That would prevent any other attacks in the future. We want all people to live in harmony.”


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