Politics / 26 September 2017, 06:16am / Bheki Mbanjwa
Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini has complained about not getting a salary fit for a king whose subjects “contribute so much tax into the country’s coffers”.
In his wide-ranging speech, the king also lambasted the ANC for killings that are the result of internal conflicts.
“The provincial government does not recognise me in a form of a stipend that is fit for a king of the Zulus who pay so much tax in this country. I do not even know what to do in this situation, but I need to think carefully about this,” he said in his address at the King Shaka celebrations held in KwaDukuza (Stanger) on Sunday.
In the current financial year, the Royal Household Department was allocated R58 million, while the king draws a salary of more than R1.1m a year. The department is responsible for the upkeep of the monarch and his family, including renovations to palaces, the maintenance of his fleet of vehicles, his travel costs and the paying for groceries.
The king said the Zulus deserved so much more because they constituted the majority and had contributed significantly to the growth of the economy.
“You, as the Zulus, contributed to building Joburg, Cape Town and Durban. It is you who were working in the mines,” he said.
The king accused the government of undermining him, saying in some instances the government installed amakhosi without consulting him.
He said he deserved respect as he had been born into the position.
“I was born a king. I do not owe anyone anything,” he said.
The king said the government was distributing land that had been stolen from him without consulting him.
“You have never even consulted me when distributing this land, when I am the owner of this land. It was stolen from me. The Zulu nation should be given back its land, we do not even need that much research about the land because we know the land of the Zulus,” he said.
Ndabezinhle Sibiya, the spokesperson for Premier Willies Mchunu, refused to comment directly on the king’s pronouncements, saying, “we prefer not to comment on such matters”.
He did stress that the king had an important role in the province.
The king also warned: “There won’t be peace in South Africa if you Zulus in your political arena are fighting against each other. This must come to an end. We are tired of burying people every day.”
ANC leaders who attended the celebrations included ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize and Mchunu, who is also the province’s party deputy chairman.
“Go and tell your president,” said the king. “You must stop this bull****.”
Earlier, a bronze bust of the king was unveiled. It was commissioned by businessman and the king’s close associate, Ishwar Ramlutchman.
“I was touched by the contribution of His Majesty to society and decided to honour him by commissioning a bust. The Zulu monarch has contributed tremendously in nation building in South Africa,” said Ramlutchman.
The king has faced criticism about his association with Ramlutchman, with some blaming him for allowing Diwali celebrations to be held at his palace in Nyokeni.
The celebrations will be held on October7 and will be co-hosted by the Sivananda World Peace Foundation.
Phumlani Mfeka of Injeje YamaNguni wrote on Facebook that having Hindi celebrations at the palace degraded the throne.
The king did not take kindly to that, saying he would not be dictated to by children.
“I will not be threatened by children who do not even have wives. I will not be told who I can associate with, and with whom I cannot.”
He said what he was doing was important for nation building.
Mfeka said he would comment once members of Injeje had had been able to digest the king’s speech.