Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The Royal House says blaming people of Zulu ethnicity for the ongoing ­xenophobic violence in parts of ­Gauteng is misplaced.

The monarch on Monday said most Zulu-speaking people were naturally respectful; it was a pure surprise that the violence was being seen as an act by one ethnic group only.

The comments by the Royal House come after a meeting called by former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi with chief men in the province erupted into chaos, his speech being disrupted. Stores were trashed and people attacked on the streets. As a result of the violence, two people died and 18 were arrested.

Although evidence shows that the crowd at the impromptu imbizo was not only made up of people of Zulu ethnicity, some social media users narrowed it to a “Zulu tendency”, prompting a backlash by those who were against tribalism.

King Goodwill Zwelithini’s spokesperson, Prince Thulani Zulu, on Monday said the Royal House had become accustomed to anti-Zulu sentiments expressed by those he said had an axe to grind with the ethnic group.

“They always say this about us Worrying about what they are saying will not be helpful. In fact, we cannot say anything until the king has spoken in Johannesburg,” the prince said.

Zulu said while they were not sure of the exact date of the king’s imbizo, it would be towards month-end.

He denied reports that the king was set to host a historic Shaka’s Day in Johannesburg to meet the people, saying the event would be held in KwaDukuza as usual. He said the king would also host commemorations in different parts of the country to spread the peace message amid the violence.

Political Bureau