OUR VIEWPOINT: KZN’s broke royal who spends too much

2015-07-06 12:13
King Goodwill Zwelithini (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

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THE role of a king should be to rule in such a manner that benefits his subjects, not to milk them for everything they’ve got to ensure a life of ostentatious luxury for him and his.

Just six months ago King Goodwill Zwelithini was begging for a bailout from the KwaZulu-Natal Treasury, which increasingly appears to be his personal bank, having blown his R54 million budget for the year. A two-day, R4-million wedding to his sixth wife and R120 000 on crockery and cutlery helped reduce the R54 million to a point where he apparently was too broke to buy groceries for his homes.

The latest revelation of reckless royal spending concerns nearly R3 million spent on private chartered flights for the king to attend social and official events.

One flight, which cost R28 000, was from Ulundi to Empangeni. Why he could not be driven there — a distance of 115 km by road — is not known. In May last year, he flew from Ulundi to Durban, and the next month to Cape Town, to meet Recycling and Economic Development Institute of SA CEO Hermann Erdmann, at a cost of over R500 000.

The outcome of the meetings is unknown, but reckless and irresponsible do not even begin to describe the lack of empathy displayed for the people who fund his lavish lifestyle.

He has often complained of his funds being abused by those appointed to look after his affairs, but there have been far too many accounts of his spending with reckless abandon for us to believe this — R5 million would not have been spent on seven luxury vehicles in May without his knowledge and consent. The Treasury has to remind him that it is not a bottomless chest placed at his disposal for him to dip in as he pleases.

The king should realise that his title is inherited, and he does not have to fight the battles his forebears did to earn recognition and be remembered in posterity.

Instead, he can work to be remembered by working to better the lot of his people — not by constantly demanding more and more of them for himself.

The king contributes nothing in return for the millions consumed, other than as a cultural figurehead.

He needs to either cut back on his spending habits — perhaps consider flying on the national carrier? — or start giving something back to the nation

Read more on:    kwa-zulu natal  |  king goodwill zwelethini

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