KZN premier’s office trampling on Zulu king - IFP

2015-12-08 19:55
King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

King Goodwill Zwelithini (City Press)

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Durban - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has lashed out at the office of the KwaZulu-Natal premier, saying they are “uncomfortable” with the treatment of King Goodwill Zwelithini and the royal family.

Gwala said the royal family and Zwelithini ensured the Zulu Kingdom was a pertinent tourist destination that attracted investors yet it “does not receive the support needed”.

"We have been informed that his office is being rendered dysfunctional due to a lack of basic supplies such as stationery and other resources.

"His Majesty’s vehicles are stationed in Pietermaritzburg and that when they are required for royal duties, a requisition has to be made and then the vehicles travel about 400km [in a] single [trip] to Nongoma and then travel back to be parked off in Pietermaritzburg.

"We are serious when we call for cost-cutting measures and a curtailment of extravagance and corruption, but we cannot remain silent when His Majesty is being treated in this manner," Gwala said.

Gwala also expressed unhappiness over the fact that bursaries for Zwelithini’s children had been reduced.

"Whilst this government talks of free education for all, we are shocked to know that bursaries for His Majesty’s children will be reduced and that his grandchildren will not benefit.

"We would like to know what other services have been removed after the Department of the Royal Household was reduced to a chief directorate. There is also serious concern about the dilapidated state of the royal residences due to a lack of maintenance and renovation."

'We are truly uncomfortable'

Gwala added that "during the time of the KwaZulu Government" the status of the king was held in high esteem, "but now royalty in KwaZulu-Natal is being trampled upon by the Office of the Premier".

"We are truly uncomfortable with the manner in which His Majesty is being treated. I have raised this matter in the portfolio committee today and will pursue it as we are calling on the Premier and the Acting Director General to act in this matter and review what the department is doing and how it is treating His Majesty and the Royal Family," Gwala said.

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal premier's office on Monday came out in defence of King Goodwill's alleged pro-National Party comments, saying he was entitled to freedom of speech.

The Zulu king reportedly praised apartheid’s National Party, saying it had "built a mighty army" and that the economy was stronger under its reign.

But on Monday, the Royal Household said the King was speaking as someone who had lived through apartheid and knew the good and the bad of the system.

In a statement on Monday, Premier Senzo Mchunu’s acting spokesperson, Sibusiso Magwaza, said the comments were only relayed through the media and that the office of the premier did not "have the benefit of understanding the context under which these comments were made".

"Freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in our Constitution, is an inherent right for everyone in our country. This includes our king."

Read more on:    ifp  |  king goodwill zwelithini  |  senzo mchunu  |  durban

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