King Goodwill Zwelithini shakes hands with EFF leader Julius Malema while party chairperson Dali Mpofu, back left, and deputy president Floyd Shivambu look on. Picture: @EFFSouthAfrica/Twitter
Durban - It was a case of a four-year-old meeting a 69-year-old elder and exchanging birthday gifts when the Economic Freedom Fighters’ top brass met King Goodwill Zwelithini on Thursday.

The leadership of the EFF, South Africa’s youngest and fastest growing political party which turned four on Wednesday, paid a visit to the Zulu king at his LinduZulu palace in his capital of Nongoma on the day he turned 69.

Led by its president Julius Malema, the EFF entourage which included party deputy president Floyd Shivambu and national chairperson Dali Mpofu, presented the king with five cattle.

“These included four cows which they (the EFF) said are pregnant and a bull. As is custom, the king also gave them a beast which they took away,” said the king’s brother and spokesperson of the royal house, Prince Mbonisi Zulu.

Zwelithini had some words of advice for the young party known for being rabble rousers in Parliament.

“He spoke to them as a parent and emphasised the need for respect. It should be remembered that the Zulu nation is known for respect and as the custodian of that, the king had to talk about respect to his visitors”.

The king told EFF leaders that all political leaders had to behave in a dignified manner as their actions had a bearing on how the country is viewed.

“He told them that all of us have to work towards building a prosperous South Africa and that requires politicians to be constructive”.

The EFF has been criss-crossing KwaZulu-Natal garnering support ahead of its birthday celebration rally to be held at the Curries Fountain Stadium tomorrow.

Malema’s visit to the king earned him praise from Twitter users. @MuhaliCalvin tweeted: “Salute leadership we respect old people because of their behaviour not because of age”.

Another user, @PrinceTjotjo said: “well done to EFF we salute” while @Prince® saw the lighter side and asked: “So when do we get to slaughter?”.

However @kgaugelo_N was less pleased with the EFF’s association with the Zulu monarch.

“The Zulu King benefits unfairly from taxpayer’s money even though some of us don’t subject ourselves to traditional leaders, when EFF comes into power will they change such allocations of taxpayer’s money,” he tweeted.

The Mercury

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