My thanks to columnist Bhekisisa Mncube for reminding readers with short memories about the pain suffered by the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and members of his family following a rift with traditional Prime Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The king’s announcement in 1994 of his intention to place himself above party politics and work for peace and development led to insults and threats to his safety by groups of armed men opposing his move.
Close relatives he associated with, including princes Clement and Zeblon, and his sister princess Nonhlanhla, were also threatened, as was his induna at his Babanango farm.
It was necessary for me to keep urging the SAPS and SANDF to increase protection for the king and his relatives after members of the family, and the king himself, had told me about the urgent need for improved security.
In April 1996, Queen Buhle MaMathe and her daughter were seriously injured and another relative was killed, at a house in KwaMashu.
The attackers came from the nearby A Section hostels and no real effort seems to have been made to apprehend them.
The tensions decreased after the relationship between the king and Buthelezi improved.
However, threats to Clement continued until his death from natural causes in the late 1990s.
MARY DE HAAS