King welcomes meeting to clarify xenophobic remarks

2015-04-08 08:08
King Goodwill Zwelithini (Picture: AFP)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (Picture: AFP)

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Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini has welcomed a proposed meeting with church leaders to clarify his alleged xenophobic remarks, the Mercury newspaper reported on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the king, Prince Thulani Zulu, told the newspaper that a proposed meeting with the Diakonia Council of Churches will help to "correct misinterpretation of the king's comment".

Zwelithini has been in the spotlight over comments he made in Pongola at the end of last month when he is alleged to have said that foreigners should pack their bags and go home.

The comments were reported to have been behind a number of attacks on foreigners at Durban's informal settlements. Many were chased out and had their belongings looted.

Zulu told the newspaper that a meeting would help to stop criminals attacking foreigners.

Lost in translation

Last week the Royal Household Trust defended the king, saying he has no issue with foreign nationals and his meaning was lost in translation.

Trust chairperson Judge Jerome Ngwenya told the Witness the king had been a guest of Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko at a meeting on moral regeneration on March 15 when he made the alleged comments.

“I understand the king departed from his prepared speech and lamented the weakness in the policing of the country’s borders. He said this has led to the country being a haven for illegal immigrants who violate and undermine the country’s laws. He then urged the police... to catch those who violate the country’s laws... and return them to whence they come,” said Ngwenya.

President Jacob Zuma's eldest son, Edward Zuma, later came out in full support of the king's alleged comments, saying that "we need to be aware that as a country we are sitting on a ticking time bomb of them [foreigners] taking over the country".

Read more on:    king goodwill zwelethini  |  durban  |  xenophobia
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