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Buthelezi slated for ’divisive’ comments on Zulu warriors at Nkandla

Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 5, 2021


The INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council has issued a scathing statement over Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s “frivolous attack” on iNduna uMgiliji Nhleko.

iNduna uMgiliji Nhlekowho arrived at Nkandla over the weekend as part of a contingent of Zulu warriors defending former president Jacob Zuma against arrest.

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Phumlani kaDoto Mfeka, of the INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council, said Buthelezi was “really testing our restraint” as his comments on the goings-on in Nkandla was “divisive” and “unnecessary”.

The INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council accused Buthelezi of using his position as prime minister of the Zulu nation to pursue his “personal, narrow, unsustainable” political agendas at the expense of the Zulu people, which they say has become “unbearable”.

“We have afforded the prime minister every form of respect he deserves yet it seems this respect has given him the impression that we have outsourced our intelligence to him. It has given him the impression that the Zulu people are incapable of determining their future without his dictates,” Mfeka said.

With the coronation of the Zulu king outstanding, the INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council said the throne remained vacant and since the iziNduna were apolitical, they were their primary point of call.

“IziNduna of the Zulu Nation have historically taken decisions whenever the Zulu King seemed indecisive to do so, the Battle of eSandlwana and the Battle kaBambatha attests.

“We are thus sincerely disturbed that an elder statesman and prime minister of the Zulu Nation, who has been accustomed to Zulu customs and protocols for close to a century, would use a media platform to address grievances he may have with the commander of regiments.

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“We would have expected him to call uMdidiyeli uNhleko to a meeting with other iziNduna present, where matters should have been discussed without involving the media, it is at this sitting that the prime minister would have had to articulate to the attendance what wrong did the Commander do? Wenzeni uMgiliji?”

The statement said Commander Nhleko had the full backing of INJEJE yabeNGUNI and they encouraged him to remain resolute in providing leadership for the Zulu Nation “in these times of difficulty and siege”.

“This is what the late King uMdlokombane had appointed him for and, for this, we thank him,” Mfeka said.

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But, Buthelezi issued a late-night statement on Sunday, hours before he was due to address the media on Monday morning.

He took note of the statement issued by the INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council.

He said it “maliciously castigates” him as irrational, irrelevant, divisive, self-centred, politically motivated and old.

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Buthelezi said his only crime was conveying an official comment from the King and the Royal Family that Induna Nhleko acted wrongfully in leading regiments to Nkandla.

He said he was used to being attacked as the messenger but the statement was misleading in two aspects.

Buthelezi said the Royal Family had never announced that the throne was vacant, nor did His Majesty King Zwelithini appoint Nhleko to provide leadership for the Zulu Nation.

“By claiming that there is no King, Induna Nhleko and the INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council are acting in defiance of the monarch. Moreover, they are giving Induna Nhleko the role that belongs to His Majesty the King, which is that of leading the Zulu Nation. This is a dangerously inflammatory stance,” Buthelezi said.

He also stated that Zuma’s legal difficulties could not be portrayed as the Zulu nation coming under siege. It was not necessary for the regiments to “defend” the former president from the rule of law or from the Constitutional Court.

“It is precisely because Induna Nhleko and the regiments he led brought the Royal Family into this matter that the Family needed to respond and highlight that this was not done on their behalf or at their request. His Majesty the King did not instruct Induna Nhleko,” Buthelezi said.

The INJEJE yabeNGUNI Council further accused Buthelezi of turning the office of prime minister into a “toothless office that seeks to use the Monarch and the Zulu Royal family for self-centred intentions”.

They said they would not remain silent and accused Buthelezi of tearing apart and dividing the Zulu throne, family and nation intentionally.

“Prince Buthelezi has had his time to provide leadership and nature afforded him all the time to do so, however it is time that he allows the current Zulu generation to charter their own future without his politically driven meddling using the Zulu Monarchy, Zulu Royal family and the office of Prime Minister as cover.”

Political Bureau