King Zwelithini hits back at culture critics

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has defended his blanket land-claim of KwaZulu-Natal and the existence of traditional courts.

“These people accused us of destabalising (development) trusts by claiming our land,” Zwelithini was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper during a speech to celebrate the traditional circumcision of 200 young men in Kokstad.

“This is shocking, because this land was not taken from the trusts, which are now popular in the country, but was taken from traditional leaders, and your fathers and mothers who were murdered.”

He later said those who claimed traditional courts violated the rights of women and children were ignorant of how the courts functioned.

He said the Zulu nation had already “defeated” critics of the Reed Dance ceremony, who had claimed it violated the rights of young women by subjecting them to virginity testing.

“We defeated them and they disappeared,” the king said.

He also said the kingdom had beaten those against the Umkhosi Woselwa (first fruit ceremony) in court, the newspaper reported.

Animal rights activists had claimed the ceremony perpetuated animal cruelty because during the ceremony men would bare-handedly kill a bull by twisting its neck.

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