Pietermaritzburg – Delivering the shortest-ever speech from the throne to officially open the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, King Misuzulu KaZwelithini pleaded for an end to political killings
He renewed his pledge to lead his nation in promoting peace, unity and development.
This was the first time he has opened the legislature, which has a two-part opening ceremony. Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube will take the platform on Sunday.
The day started with the arrival of members of the provincial legislature and guests dressed to kill in fashion with a royal and traditional theme.
Video: African News Agency (ANA)
Later, provincial cabinet members and former leaders of the province including former president Jacob Zuma and former premier Sihle Zikalala, among others, walked in.
Zuma stole the show and became the centre of attention. The arrival of Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the king and the Zulu nation, was also a highlight.
Video: African News Agency (ANA)
Although visibly frail, Buthelezi fulfilled his role of introducing the king before he spoke to the people and officially opened the legislature.
Also present was the king’s wife, Queen Ntokozo Mayisela, and other members of the royal family including Prince Simphiwe, Prince Vanana, and Prince Mthokozisi Mahlobo.
At around 11am, the king, flanked by Zulu regiments in full traditional regalia, was ushered in and given the police salute.
Kicking off his speech, the king lauded the foundation which was laid by his late father, King Goodwill Zwelithini and his mother, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu, before he took over the throne.
He said the province should be a trailblazer in providing a thriving environment where everyone benefited.
The king then dived into the thorny issue of the Ingonyama Trust, saying there was still a need for this body.
There have been calls from some quarters to abolish the body and take the 2.8 million hectares of land in KwaZulu-Natal and place it under direct government control.
There is also a dispute between the king’s office and the government over who should be a member of the Ingonyama Trust’s board.
“Reorganising the office of the king is important, it is also important for it to have the rightly skilled people.
“In the past few months, working with the Office of the Premier, we started to re-organise the office so that it is equipped to face changing modern times,” the king said.
According to the king, the Ingonyama Trust is still better equipped to help protect the land of the Zulus.
“I am still satisfied that there is still a need for the Ingonyama Trust and applaud the idea of coming up with this structure in the province.
“Working together, I still believe that the Ingonyama Trust can still deliver what it was formed for; protecting the land of the Zulus and improving the lives of people living in areas under tribal control,” he said.
With the province again facing the scourge of traditional leader killings, the king said those involved must stop.
“As ISilo, I am appealing to everyone to honour ubuntu and kill no one.
“Killing is inhumane, it is barbaric, it is cursed, we do not need police or court interventions to adhere to our basic humanity,” he said, pleading for an urgent meeting between the government and the police to address this.
Concluding his opening address, the king lamented the ongoing crisis of unemployment and hunger.
He pleaded with leaders to lead in an ethical manner.
“Lastly, I call for conscience leadership and social accountability, starting with Ubukhosi (the throne).
“Leaders in government, business, clergy and Ubukhosi must set an example of practising integrity, justice, inclusivity, empathy, diligence and morality.
“I implore everyone, at whatever level they may be serving, to religiously follow the dictates of practices and principles of conscience leadership.”