Zwelithini too broke to buy groceries - report

2014-12-07 13:19
King Goodwill Zwelithini (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - King Goodwill Zwelithini is reportedly so broke that he cannot even buy groceries for his household that includes six wives and 27 children.

According to the Sunday Times, the king, who gets R54.2m a year from government, will now have to be further bankrolled by the KwaZulu-Natal government.

The Royal Household Trust was allocated R54.2m for the 2014/15 financial year but - according to Judge Jerome Ngwenya the chairperson of the trust - the king is now facing a financial crisis.

Ngwenya said in addition to not being able to buy groceries, the trust is unable to pay school fees for the king’s children next year.

Ndabezinhle Sibiya, spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said the provincial leader had ordered a report into the financial state of the trust. He would not however comment any further.

This comes less than a month after Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa pulled the plug on construction of a R300m cultural precinct near Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Enyokeni Palace in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Forensic investigation

The Sunday Independent reported at the time that Mthethwa had also ordered a forensic investigation into the entire project and into the department.

This followed on his move to suspended Arts and Culture director-general Sibusile Xaba in October following the outcomes of auditor general Kimi Makwetu’s audit report into the department, which showed increased irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the year since Xaba was appointed.

Sapa reported in May that the first phase of the construction of the cultural village at Nongoma was expected to take up to 18 months to complete.

Department spokesperson Mogomotsi Mogodiri said at the time: “It should be noted that the development and infrastructure is not only for the king, but the Zulu nation as a whole.”

The development was expected to involve upgrading the existing pavilion and paved walkways, as well as sleeping areas and ablution facilities for the 30 000 Zulu maidens who attend the reed dance each year.

This is in addition to the planned building of Zwelithini’s eighth palace - at Emakhosini Valley in northern KwaZulu-Natal - that will boast nine thatched “beehive huts” arranged in a circle with a central cattle enclosure.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  culture

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