Tolerance urged after spat at king’s event

Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Facebook

Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Facebook

Published Mar 18, 2024


Durban — Independent political analyst Thobani Zikalala said a high level of political tolerance is required for one to be able to make sure that there’s a seamless relationship between the monarch and government.

This was after a KwaZulu-Natal government event to honour the late Zulu king Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo turned ugly when a political spat erupted on Saturday.

The event, attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and other government leaders, went south when recently appointed Zulu Traditional Prime Minister Thulasizwe Buthelezi was interrupted by Economic Development MEC Siboniso Duma, who abruptly grabbed the microphone from him while he was introducing King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

Buthelezi – who is also an IFP leader and mayor of the Zululand District Municipality – had taken a swipe at the ANC leadership over what he labelled a sign of disrespect to the royal household, and had appealed to Ramaphosa to rein in the provincial leadership.

“Our only request, your Excellency, is for the provincial government of KZN to emulate your example of respecting our king. A senior leader of the ANC in this province, Mr Bheki Mtolo… ”

It was at that point that Duma promptly got up from his chair and pulled the microphone from Buthelezi, accusing him of clumsiness and a lack of respect for the occasion.

“Let us demonstrate respect for what we are here for; we thought you were here to introduce the king, and now you are spoiling such a great ceremony. You are becoming clumsy, unlike your predecessor (Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi) who respected government events,” said Duma.

The event, at KwaCeza Sports Field in Zululand, was held to observe the 110th anniversary of King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo, who is regarded as one of the key figures in the Struggle against foreign occupation in modern-day KZN. In the past, there had been squabbling over the scheduling of the event, with some accusing the ANC of trying to use it as a campaign platform in the IFP stronghold.

Zikalala said: “The problem here is the political intersections at the most senior offices of the KZN government and Zulu monarchy. The appointment of the overtly known leader of a particular party – and of course in KZN with the different governing parties and when the government holds an event – there will always be political intersections due to the political differences that exist.”

Zikalala continued by saying it’s problematic to have the monarch have to deal with these intersections and also to be associated politically as the prime minister is a member of the IFP. Zikalala provided historical reference and said that before, there was the founding leader of the IFP – the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi – and he was able to make a distinction between the political party and the monarchy.

“The difficult issue is that it requires a high level of political tolerance for us to be able to make sure that there’s a seamless relationship between the monarch and government.”

Zikalala emphasised that the relationship between the current governing party and the IFP must be managed better.

SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said: “Police in Ceza are investigating a case of assault GBH. On March 16, 2024, at 3.30pm whilst at Ceza sport field the 11 victims were assaulted with sticks by unknown suspects.

“The said group came from behind and started assaulting them for unknown reasons. All the victims sustained injuries to the head. Ten of them were treated as outpatients and one was admitted to hospital due to the nature of the injuries. The victims are from various parts of Zululand.”

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