King calls for tolerance and unity

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini arrives at the opening of the legislature

ZULU KING Goodwill Zwelithini has challenged political parties to forge a common goal calling for their courageous leadership and stressed that national and provincial interests should take centre stage as opposed to individual interests.

In his address, the Zulu king used the analogy of a family to reflect on the problems in KZN and South Africa.

“Today I am addressing you as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal and South African family. There comes a time when family members have to rise above their differences and consider what is in the interest of the family and forge a way forward. The success of the family rests upon each member” said the king.

King Zwelithini said while political parties had different viewpoints each of the members should remember what was important for the province and country.

“What is lacking today is courageous leaders from across the racial and political divide who can rise above personal interests and help us in navigating the current challenges,” said the king.

He called on party leaders to display levels of tolerance and acceptance warning that if this was not done, ordinary members would follow their example and plunge communities into chaos.

The monarch noted the rising tension between communities and police saying this reflected deep seated problems both in KZN and South Africa.

King Zwelithini said the recent racial spats in South Africa were a sore point which pained him and called on each of the leaders to work at ensuring that South Africa did not go back to the days of racial tensions.

The Zulu monarch said he would launch a campaign aimed at highlighting the plight of albinos. There has recently been an increase in the number of albinos who were killed for muti related purposes.  He called for long jail terms to be given to those who killed albinos. He told an audience that  included Premier Senzo Mchunu, Speaker Lydia Johnson and Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) that the awareness campaign will be led by virgins from the reed dance. “The campaign will reach places of worship, schools, sports fields, government functions and extend outside the borders of the province,” said the monarch, who also urged government to be part of the campaign.

The king said another campaign would focus on learners from rural areas as they faced challenges including a lack of infrastructure and teacher shortages. “After discussions with members of the Ingonyama Trust Board I have started a bursary fund that will assist learners. I will ask companies trading under Ingonyama Trust owned land to make contributions to the fund. By contributing they will also remove the image of companies that are just there to make money, said the king.

The monarch decried the recent matric results which showed a huge decline and urged parents to play their role without leaving all responsibilities to teachers. “This is not the time for finger-pointing; it is a time for introspection as to what each and every one of us is doing to help in improving the state of education.”

This year marks 200 years since the Zulu nation was founded and King Zwelethini issued a celebratory invite with details of the event to follow later in the year.

This State of the Province address by Premier Senzo Mchunu will be delivered on Thursday.


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