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WATCH: Buthelezi lashes out at Zuma supporters’ behaviour in Nkandla, says Mgilija Nhleko ’no commander of Zulu regiments’

Published Jul 5, 2021


Ulundi – Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi has lashed out at the supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, saying their week-long behaviour in Nkandla was treasonous and made a mockery of the Zulu nation.

Buthelezi, while addressing an impromptu press conference in Ulundi, northern KwaZulu-Natal, and speaking as an “elder”, said that although he sympathised with Zuma and his family as he faced difficult times emanating from his Constitutional Court sentence, which earned him 15 months in prison, any lawyer would have known the consequences awaiting the former president if he refused to comply with the Constitutional Court’s order to appear at the State Capture Commission.

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Giving some historical background, Buthelezi said Zuma was not the only senior leader to be sent to jail yet; when others in history were jailed, there were no rebellions. Among the many incidents of jailing was that of King Cetshwayo in 1879.

“Yet when King Cetshwayo was arrested and sent into exile, neither the king’s regiments nor his people threatened a physical uprising, for it would have been hopeless and end in utter destruction.”

Lashing out at Zuma supporters, he said they were committing a sin.

“With all of this history, I am troubled by what is happening at Nkandla. It is simply wrong. Our people there are challenging the State and, in so doing, they are challenging all of us who are guided by the rule of law.

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“But there is a second sin being committed at Nkandla, for those who are gathering are doing so at a time when our country faces the worst variant of the coronavirus.

’’We know that the protocols of social distancing and wearing face masks are more important measures to secure our survival than even the jabs that people are receiving.

’’Yet when one watches the people congregating at Nkandla, there is barely a face mask in sight. They are jeopardising their lives, and the lives of every one of us in whose midst they are living. That is the greatest irresponsibility of all,” he said.

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Correcting history, Buthelezi did not spare Mgilija Nhleko, the famed “commander of Zulu regiments”, saying he was never installed in that position but was a mere headman (Induna) of the regiments.

Nhleko set tongues wagging when, over the weekend, he led a group to Zuma’s home, thus legitimising the presence of people who called themselves ’’Zulu regiments’’. Buthelezi said they had no idea who installed him and the Zulu king has summoned him to explain himself.

“We don’t know when he was installed as the commander, we don’t know… he can’t on his own lead them (regiments). It was him and his friends who went there, that small crowd was not a (Zulu) regiment. It was him and his friends calling themselves a regiment of the king, they were not a regiment of the king.

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“As I have said, today the king had called me to a meeting but I had to come here (press conference). The king wants him (Mgilija) to explain his trip (to Nkandla). That will happen this week,” Buthelezi said.

Political Bureau