Zulu king pleads for public cooperation in the fight against Covid-19
Durban - Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, has made a passionate plea to various sectors in KwaZulu-Natal to work together in order to defeat the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
In his birthday message to the Zulu nation on Monday, he pleaded with his people to stay at home, saying if KZN becomes a Covid-19 hotspot as predicted by scientists, the impact will be worse than what was seen in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
The king turned 72 years old and has been on the throne for 49 years after his 1971 coronation at the age of 21. He is also the longest-reigning Zulu king in the entire history of the nation.
Among his many birthday gifts, the king asked for from his people was ending gender-based violence, killing of white farmers, ending of murder and of the destruction of public property.
During his speech which was delivered virtually from one of his palaces in Nongoma, the king said he wanted to celebrate the day at his Machobeni palace in Ngwavuma, near the South Africa-Eswatini border. Taking into account that the country is battling the Covid-19 pandemic, he shelved the plans.
He then revealed that Covid-19 has affected everyone, including his own royal family, but he did not say how. .
“This virus affects all of us, it does not look at your race, your age and what position you hold. We all know that not long ago, the virus struck in the royal household. It is doing the same to politicians, religious leaders, business people and the media” the king said.
The king said the decision to close schools was a calculated move to arrest the spread of the pandemic. For that, he pleaded with children to stay at home and urged parents to ensure that they rein in their offspring.
“The decision to close schools at this time signals the importance of staying at home for everyone. It is important for me to plead with our children to stay at home, closing schools was not done to allow you to roam around and bring the virus home to parents who are staying home. Also, parents must ensure that their kids stay at home,” he said.
The King also used the opportunity to salute “brave health workers” who are at the forefront of the Covid-19 battle. He said the least people could do to help the health workers is to stay at home.
“We can all see that our hospitals are already full, so don’t become one of those who will have to sleep in hospital corridors because there is a shortage of beds… There is a lot that we can do to help these brave and heroic health workers… we need to behave accordingly,” the king said.
Meanwhile, the ANC in KZN wished the king a happy birthday, lauding his role in various initiatives in the province. In a statement, the party added that he is a symbol of unity, a fountain of wisdom, a father figure, a symbol of hope and custodian of heritage and culture in the province.
“The ANC in KZN has over the years had a fruitful relationship with His Majesty the King and the Zulu Royal Household. It's overwhelming on how His Majesty has always executed his role as a champion of peace and fighting scourges engulfing people in the province and country. We appreciate His Majesty’s role in the fight against the scourge of gender-based violence which has resulted in the brutal killing of women and children,” the party said.