Swazi-born Edward Zuma under fire over foreigner comments

2015-04-01 12:51
Edward Zuma (The Witness)

Edward Zuma (The Witness)

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Johannesburg - The Swaziland Solidarity Network has chastised President Jacob Zuma's son, Edward Zuma, for his comments on deporting foreigners from South Africa.

The network’s Lucky Lukhele said he was extremely disappointed at Zuma’s comments.

“We don’t expect such comments to be coming from a son of a revolutionary and someone who has experienced solidarity from African countries," said Lukhele.

"I am sure his father is also disappointed at his comments."

Ticking time bomb

Zuma told News24 that he fully supported King Goodwill Zwelithini's controversial call to deport foreigners from South Africa.

Zuma junior said South Africa was sitting on a ticking time bomb.

“The reason why I am saying that is because some of the foreigners are working for private security companies where they have been employed for cheap labour.

These companies are running away from complying with South African labour laws,” said the president’s eldest son.

Edward Zuma 'half Swazi'

Zuma's comments come two weeks after Zwelithini shared his sentiments on foreigners at a moral regeneration rally in Pongola, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zulu king was quoted as saying, “We urge all foreigners to pack their bags and leave.”

Zwelithini’s comments are now being investigated by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

Lukhele said: “Edward is half Swazi, half South African. He was born here [Swaziland]. His mother is Minah Shongwe, the sister of Judge Jeremiah Shongwe.

"I hold Edward in high esteem because he once called for Swaziland to become a democratic state. We understand that some people love Zwelithini so much that they would lick areas where the sun doesn’t shine but Edward mustn't embarrass the ANC,” said Lukhele, demanding that Zuma withdraw his statements urgently.

'Chasing us away is not going to help'

Kapele Mutachi from the Congolese Solidarity Campaign said: “No man wants to live away from home. We are here not because we want to be here. There are forces at play in our respective countries that are forcing millions of people to flee their countries.

“South Africa is a democratic country and back home we are victims of injustice, oppression and economic exploitation,” said Mutachi.

He said women were being raped and people were being massacred in his home country.

“These are the reasons why we fled to South Africa. Back home we don’t have a public protector, an auditor general and a Human Rights Commission to make sure that democracy is practised.

“South Africa is Africa’s economic powerhouse. We really want to go back home but the environment is not conducive. South Africa has to help us. Chasing us away is not going to help, we need to work hand in hand for an African solution,” said Mutachi.

SAHRC unaware of comments

SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the commission was not aware of Zuma’s comments.

“We have not received any complaints about such utterances made by the president’s son. But as a commission we would like to emphasise the important need for our leaders to exercise caution and be responsible with what they say regarding migrants and refugees,” said Mangena.

He said the commission feared that such comments may fuel xenophobic attacks.

Read more on:    edward zuma  |  swaziland  |  durban  |  xenophobia  |  southern africa

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