The IFP has abstained from voting in support of the new KwaZulu-Natal Legislature amendment standing rules to show solidarity with the Zulu king.
“As a sign of resentment and to show solidarity with the King and the concerned people of KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP has no choice but to abstain from voting on this report,” said IFP chief whip, Blessed Gwala in a statement.
The IFP’s first objection was on the phrase “the monarch may address the Legislature.”
“It seems that whenever this government talks about the monarchy or traditional leadership, it uses the word ‘may’ instead of the word ‘shall’ as is done with other institutions.
“The use of the word ‘may’ is deliberate, undermining our indigenous structures,” Gwala said.
The second objection was in reference to the premier being saluted during the official opening of the Legislature, as this was with total disregard for the king.
Gwala said it would be a sad day indeed when the salute was given to a premier, but withheld from the king.
“It is an unnecessary provocation of the Zulu people, which may well lead to revolt. It would be wise for the ruling party to tread lightly when it treads on such sacred institutions,” added Gwala.
Furthermore, the IFP was opposed to repealing rules 25 and 26, which relate to the election, role, and functions of parliamentary counsellors to the monarch.
“In the national assembly we have a parliamentary counsellor and there is no valid reason to delete it from our rules merely because the IFP insists that two parliamentary counsellors — one from the ruling party and one from the opposition — be present to represent the Legislature when matters of the Legislature are tabled before the Monarch,” Gwala explained.
The Witness previously reported on the ANC’s cost-cutting proposal to make the opening of the Legislature a one-day event instead of two days where the Zulu monarch and the premier gave addresses on separate days.
The ANC also submitted a proposal to stop having the police guard of honour for the king. “Rule 9(2) providing for a salute to the king is unconstitutional, as per terms of section 125 of the constitution the executive authority of the province vests in the premier alone,” read the ANC’s proposal.
The ANC said constitutionally, the police may only salute the president of the country, ministers and the premier but not kings.