King Goodwill Zelithini. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/ African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s gift of four cows to honour the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela did not sit well with some of his subjects.

Some, like Makhosi Ndokweni of Cumberwood in Durban, writing in Isolezwe, Independent Media's Zulu newspaper called on the King to instead help uplift the poor people of KwaZulu-Natal and not just "prominent" people.

“I’m grateful that our King extended his condolences to the Mandela family in this fashion. However, it would be very thoughtful of him to do this not only to the prominent, but also to the poor. There’s poverty around the province and in some areas natural disasters leave his people in sorrow, not knowing how they would survive after the destruction of the little they possessed. We even read in the news about children who pass matric with good grades but cannot afford to further their studies. His Majesty can also contribute, and that would make us happy because we are his people,” Ndokweni said.  

It was widely reported that king Zwelithini, even though he didn’t attend Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral as this was against tradition, sent two of his princes (Prince Phumuzuzulu Zulu and Mbonisi) and IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to represent the  Zulu kingdom.

Prince Mbonisi Zulu, King Zwelithini’s spokesperson, said the King is the king for everyone in KwaZulu-Natal and across the border.

“The King is always affected when people die or affected by disaster. He sent cows to Botswana when the president of that country died and he also sent cows when Madiba died. The King gets involved when people are in distress in one way or another,” Zulu said.

Daily News