“My father’s people are committing suicide”.
This is how the Zulu monarch, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, described the ongoing looting and vandalism by a section of the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal population claiming to be fighting for the release of former president Jacob Zuma.
Addressing the Zulu nation on Wednesday, King Misuzulu said it was the poor who would suffer the most from the current “destruction” of the economy.
“Those who will suffer the most from a weakened economy are the poor, the vulnerable and the struggling.
“When food cannot be delivered because trucks and warehouses are burned, our people will go hungry,” he said.
The looting, which has since spread to the Gauteng province, started in KZN on Friday.
“What is currently happening paints a bad picture of the Zulu nation.
“I never imagined that my father’s people would be involved in the burning of their own country,” King Misuzulu said.
The conduct of the looters, the Zulu King said, has tarnished the image of the entire Zulu nation.
“It creates a picture of people who have lost their dignity.
“It has brought shame to all of us,” he said.
King Misuzulu, who urged the looters to stop their activities, also zoned in on the current tensions between some Zulu and Indian communities as a result of the current unrest.
The Indians and Zulu communities, he said, have lived side by side peacefully for decades.
“Let’s not do anything that will change that,” he said.
King Misuzulu addressed the Zulu nation amid concerns that the current violent protests would destroy the economy and deepen poverty in the country.
“I fully understand the desperation born of poverty and unemployment which lures people, especially our youth, to join this chaos. But I must appeal to all of us to take a step back and consider the damage being done through our own actions,” he said.
According to the KZN business community, the cost of the looting and vandalism is hovering around R1 billion.
Despite President Cyril Ramaphosa having deployed the army as part of government’s efforts to contain the violence engulfing the province , the looting and vandalism continued in several parts of KZN on Wednesday.
“Knowing that all this is happening in a time of pandemic, and at the height of the most dangerous variant of the virus, leads to the only conclusion possible: my father’s people are committing suicide. One cannot see it as anything else,” said King Misuzulu.
He appealed to the people of Zulus not to allow politics to taint the dignity of our nation and be lead to destruction.
“We are better than this. We are a people of dignity. Let us respect the rule of law and ensure that order returns to KwaZuluNatal and wherever we are as a people,” he said.