Call to act against MiWay after leaked clip of King Zwelithini

2018-02-11 11:50
King Goodwill Zwelithini. (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

King Goodwill Zwelithini. (Siyabonga Masonkutu, The Witness)

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Johannesburg – While the Zulu monarch was seeking legal guidance following the leaking of a recorded MiWay Insurance conversation with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, a parliamentary portfolio committee called for action to be taken against the company.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Saturday released a statement saying the incident was a clear violation of the Protection of Private Information Act (POPIA).

READ: King Goodwill Zwelithini mulls legal bid after leaked MiWay clip

King Zwelithini was offered low premiums on his car insurance, house and furniture by sales agent S'thembiso Sithole, reported eNCA.

Zwelithini asked Sithole if he knew who he was talking to and he responded by saying "with Zwelithini Zulu".

The king tells Sithole that he is talking to the wrong person because he is the king of the Zulu nation.

Zwelithini also lashed out at Sithole for pestering him during a meeting with President Jacob Zuma.

The conversation ended with Zwelithini blessing Sithole, telling him he would get married soon.

"It is even of greater concern that the said taped conversation was later leaked on social media," said committee chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga.

"The [POPIA] Act makes provision for how private or public bodies should be handling personal information of individuals and the rights of individuals to have their information protected. This includes the rights of royalty," he explained.

"The African royalty are the custodians of the ethical and moral values of their people and the actions of MiWay are not only an insult on the Zulu people but all peace-loving and progressive people and must be condemned."

Motshekga said all protocols were trampled on by MiWay and its agents.

"This is unacceptable," he said.

He said the committee supported the Zulu royal family's decision to lodge a complaint with the Information Regulator.

"We support whatever action the royal family takes under the law. The regulator was specifically mandated to enforce compliance with the Act which promotes the protection of personal information by public and private bodies," said Motshekga.

Earlier on Saturday, the royal family issued a statement saying it felt disrespected after the sales agent addressed the king by his first name.

Spokesperson for the royal family, Prince Thulani Zulu, in a statement said although the employee was remorseful after the king had reprimanded him, the royal family was disappointed that instead of making a formal apology, MiWay Insurance leaked the audio clip to members of the public.

"We do not only consider this an insult to the Zulu nation but we believe that it is an indication of a high level of intolerance of the culture and customs of indigenous people of this country."

Zulu said the office of the king was seeking legal guidance to explore possibilities of taking legal action against MiWay Insurance.

MiWay CEO responds

MiWay Insurance CEO Rene Otto responded to the matter in a tweet.

"I just got off the phone with his Excellency the King of the Zulu nation to apologise (as CEO) on behalf of MiWay and was blown away by his sense of humour. He found it very funny that the incident is all over social media. Amazing individual. Much respect!"

Otto explained that the blunder was calling the king by his first name.

"When I called the king yesterday to apologise, as CEO, on behalf of MiWay, he was very relaxed about the incident. He had a good laugh about the fact that the incident was 'all over social media' and said 'don't worry, brother'. We appreciate his generosity and humanness."

Read more on:    miway  |  goodwill zwelithini

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