DURBAN - PRESSURE is mounting on the ANC and eThekwini Municipality to restore the mural of Zulu kings that was replaced with the city’s election billboard in the city centre on Sunday night.
Political parties and an African cultural expert slammed the party and the municipality’s decision, and said the action had anti-Zulu sentiments.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal had clearly taken a decision to do away with traditional leadership and the monarchy. He said recent and historic events attested to an ANC hell-bent on undermining the Zulu Royal Family and nation.
“The banner which is plastered over the mural of all our late kings might be a municipal advert, but the obvious reality is that it’s ANC colours and designed for the purpose of electioneering with municipal funds to further the ANC’s agenda. Quite clearly the ANC sees itself above and beyond the Zulu Royal Family, nation and our collective proud Zulu heritage.”
DA chief whip in eThekwini, Thabani Mthethwa, said there were many spaces the city could have used.
“This reminds us that some years back the ANC did nothing to discipline the Young Communist League when it said the late king Zwelithini should go and find work, and their new actions are the continuation of that.”
African cultural expert Professor Jabulani Maphalala condemned the ANC and the municipality, adding that the party hated traditional leadership.
He said King Shaka had his Kwakhangelamankengane palace in the land where the University of KwaZulu-Natal was built, but there was not even a passage named after him in the area. Maphalala further said that at the Bluff, Shaka had his second palace called Ndabenkulu, but there was no road or building named after him there.
“The ANC never respected the Zulu Royal Family and hates traditional leadership with passion. They are not paying the current king, Misuzulu’s benefits, but we know that closer to the election we might see the party issuing him with a certificate because it wants Zulu votes.”
ActionSA’s provincial leader, Dr Makhosi Khoza, said the municipality was wrong to finance the ANC election campaign with taxpayers’ money. She said the removal of the kings’ mural showed the ANC and eThekwini had no regard for tourism in eThekwini.
ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said they noted with disbelief the desperate attempts to score cheap political points by some members of the opposition.
He said that as of 2015, eThekwini Municipality identified a vacant space that could be utilised for advertising purposes and to educate people about the rich history of the country.
He said that each advertisement was allocated six months only.
“We view their noise as nothing but verbal diarrhoea in a desperate attempt to derail our spirited campaign to win all municipalities in the upcoming local government elections. We also feel that we should place it on record that as the ANC we respect the Zulu monarchy and the entire Royal Family.”
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city had noted the mixed views related to the banner.
He said it was an advertisement, not a monument to Zulu kings or a statue, adding that by their very nature, advertising banners had a defined lifespan.
“Throughout eThekwini Municipality there are many permanent sites that celebrate the Zulu Royal family and Zulu kings.
“These demonstrate our respect for Zulu kings and for the Royal Family. We have King Shaka International Airport, King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium, Princess Magogo Stadium, Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, King Dinizulu Statue, Queen Nandi Drive and a bust of King Goodwill Zwelithini at Mitchell Park, to name a few.”
Zulu royal spokesperson Prince Thulani Zulu said the Royal Family had nothing to say about the matter because it had not been consulted when the mural was put up.