Call for clarity on king's gay remarks

2012-01-25 19:10

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.

'Reckless translation'

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.

  • Danelle - 2012-01-25 19:34

    These remarks are unconstitutional and, coming from a leader, will encourage haters who commit crimes like "corrective rape" and attacks on gay men.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-25 19:56

      The Zulu Royal household still lives in the 18th century. That is why progress is so slow.

  • Marriott Dhliwayo - 2012-01-25 20:51

    there is enough suffering as it is in the world and a certain group of people want a lot of attention becoz of their sexuality.there is hunger ,there are sick people there is poverty .so pliz spare us ur noise there are much more important things to attend to in life than gay rights

      Lindani - 2012-01-26 16:52

      The Zulu royal came into existence in the early 19th century through Shaka.

  • Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-26 08:59

    But, this guy looks flamboyantly gay.

  • Lindani - 2012-01-26 10:28

    After listening to King Zwelithini's speech on SAFm, the journalist(s) who transalated his speech to English has poor command of isiZulu! King Zwelithini was talking about a man abusing ("ukuhlukumeza")another man and a woman abusing another woman. No where sex ("ukulalana noma ukulala") was used. These journalists are stirring unnecessary hatred! Poor journalism. Pathetic

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