Name more buildings for our monarchs, says King Goodwill

2013-01-30 00:00

ZULU King Goodwill Zwelithini wants more institutions with colonial names to be renamed after former monarchs.

“I am hoping that the other places that were named after people who have never been in our country, who colonised us, be changed. I would be very grateful,” Zwelithini said during the renaming of King George V Hospital in Durban to King Dinizulu, his great grandfather.

Dinizulu, the son of King Cetshwayo, led the Zulus from 1884 to 1913. He was exiled to the island of St Helena in 1890 for seven years for leading a Zulu army against the British.

After the 1906 Bambatha rebellion, Dinizulu was accused of giving orders to start the rebellion and was put on trial for treason.

Although protesting his innocence, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years behind bars in 1908. He was released two years later.

Welcoming the honour bestowed on Dinizulu, Zwelithini recalled how his great grandfather suffered at the hands of colonial powers.

“We are so grateful that the hospital is renamed after him. It is very touching because we know how he suffered like his father, King Cetshwayo.”

Zwelithini was confident the initiative would strengthen relations between the royal family and the provincial government, led by Premier Zweli Mkhize.

“We appreciate what has been done by the provincial government for the king of Zulus,” the reigning monarch said, adding it was his wish that other Zulu traditional leaders receive similar recognition in his lifetime. King Dinizulu hospital is undergoing massive renovations costing R1,1 billion.

Mkhize, who proposed the renaming when he delivered his state of the province address last year, said it was only proper. He said the name King George V could no longer be retained.

“We do not think in the post-colonial dispensation institutions should honour colonial masters when we have our own heroes who made meaningful contributions for our people,” Mkhize said. Present at the event were Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Rivonia triallist Ahmed Kathrada.

Zwelithini unveiled a metal shield and spear in front of the hospital.

Earlier, Kathrada unveiled a plaque on a building in the hospital complex named after academic Fatima Meer, while Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo unveiled another plaque in honour of Dr David Landua, who was described as a pioneer in the treatment of tuberculosis.

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