David Biggs writes that recent events in the Zulu royal family have him wondering whether there are any other republics in the world that have kingdoms inside their borders. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)
David Biggs writes that recent events in the Zulu royal family have him wondering whether there are any other republics in the world that have kingdoms inside their borders. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)

Mystery of all South Africa’s royals

By David Biggs Time of article published May 14, 2021

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We certainly live in an extraordinary country. Recent events in the Zulu royal family have got me wondering whether there are any other republics in the world that have kingdoms inside their borders.

What are the official diplomatic relations between the various kings, queens and other royalty who live in South Africa and presumably obey South African laws?

There seems to be some resentment, for example, about the fact that the king of Eswatini, who is the uncle of the new king of the Zulus, Misuzulu, sent a unit of the Swazi army to protect the new Zulu king from his enemies.

Apparently some Swazi people objected to the use of their tax money to protect the monarch of another kingdom. From this little snippet of news I gather that each of the kingdoms has its own army and raises its own taxes. Do the Xhosa and

Shangaan people also have armies, royal families and revenue systems?

Do either of these kingdoms pay rent to the Republic of South Africa for the use of our roads and electricity network? Do the South African police have the power to enforce South African laws in these kingdoms? Can they arrest a Zulu subject?

These questions are not asked in a spirit of mockery or mischief. To our north Britain has recently had a change in its royal house and it seems many of the Scots are agitating for independence, so it might be a good time to sort out these complex matters once and for all.

Would the people of an independent Scotland have to pay British taxes? Would they live in a republic with a president, or a kingdom within a kingdom?

Local elections are coming up quite soon. Is there any chance of electing a body of people able to run the Western Province as an independent republic within the republic?

We might do a better job of running the province without those overpaid mamparas who are wasting our time and taxes quarrelling among themselves.

Last Laugh

The manager of a garden centre heard one of his staff chatting to a customer. “No, we haven’t had any for a while and I have no idea when we’ll be getting more.”

The customer thanked him and left and the manager stormed over angrily. “Don’t ever tell a customer you don’t know when we’ll be getting something.

“Take their name and promise to call them when we get some. What did she ask for?”

“Rain,” said the salesman.

* "Tavern of the Seas" is a column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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