AmaZulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini has appealed for calm and for peace to be restored to the Zulu nation following days of violence and looting.
King MisuZulu addressed the Zulu nation on Wednesday. His address was prompted by the violent protests which started in KwaZulu-Natal and spread to Gauteng.
Widespread looting of businesses and violent scenes began last week following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma. The government said over 200 incidents of looting had been reported so far.
More than 70 people have died in incidents linked to the violence and hundreds of people have been arrested in KZN and Gauteng.
King MisuZulu said he could have never imagined that following the death of his mother and father he would witness such violence.
He said he has been overwhelmed with shame as fingers have been pointed at the Zulu nation.
He pointed to the impact that looting will have on the economy and especially on poor South Africans who will soon find it hard to access food.
"It has brought great shame on of us as fingers are pointed at my father's people. I never thought after the passing of my parents that I would see our people burn down the country.
"I understand the unemployment issues that have led to this but I appeal for us to stand back and see the damage being done by our own actions," the king said.
King Misuzulu also pointed to the impact the crisis would have on the coronavirus pandemic as vital medication and vaccinations have had to be halted.
He said the Zulus were committing suicide right before his eyes.
"I appeal to you my father's people, we have to protect the Zulu heritage we have to cherish and guard it. I appeal to the Zulu nation to withdraw from destroying the nation. I appeal for calm and peace to be restored," he said.