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

LETTER: Hands off our king

By IFP Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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LETTER -  I have noticed that many people have concerns about the budget which also includes the R71million allocated to His Majesty the King, by the Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier.

Misguided people speak without verifying the facts. They continue to attack King Goodwill Zwelithini, a person who only receives a stipend, which amounts to far less than the salary paid to ordinary members of Parliament. From the R71m that has become a bone of contention, a portion is for staff salaries attached to the Royal Household, and a portion for maintaining the Royal Household.

I would like to offer a free lesson to those who might not have the correct information, and may have questioned the role of His Majesty the King.

His Majesty the King is a symbol of unity, attracting tourists from around the world, promoting social cohesion, and promoting the importance of education, spearheading development particularly in agriculture, promoting a healthy lifestyle and installing Amakhosi. The Royal Household is a branch of the Office of the KZN Premier led by Professor Sihawu Ngubane and seven board members of the trust.

It’s purpose is “to render services in an effective and efficient manner to the royal family”.

There is a chief directorate that is responsible for the affairs of the royal family and His Majesty the King and a chief financial officer (CFO) who is the director-general in the Office of the Premier. A political head, the KZN premier oversees this entity while the KZN finance department is responsible for all the overall finances in the province.

It is true that His Majesty the King is the sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust, but he is not directly involved in handling the affairs and operations of the Trust. Judge Jerome Ngwenya is the chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust. He represents His Majesty the King and has a fully fledged legislated administration with a chief executive, CFO and other staff members to run the trust. Therefore, it is misleading for some people to claim that His Majesty the King is a sole trustee as if that means he runs it alone.

People must not forget that they are talking about the descendant of King Shaka, the founder of the Zulu Nation. We view the attacks that are directed at His Majesty the King as nothing more than treating the King with disdain and hatred.

Zulu people maintained their kings for aeons without leaning on anyone. It was the successive governments who came with the new order that constitutional monarchs be maintained as such by the state.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in both capacities as Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation and IFP president emeritus and His Majesty the King are at the forefront in advocating for social cohesion. Irresponsible comments by some misguided people can do serious and irreparable harm to the greater community, and nation, and they are destabilising the efforts by two leaders to ensure that all people are united.

People must also stop making inflammatory statements about the land issue, as this is a sensitive matter, which needs to be handled with care.

It is high time that His Majesty the King is afforded respect that befits his status, like other monarchs around the world. The attacks that are directed towards His Majesty the King as a person cannot be tolerated.

Hands off our king.

The views expressed in this letter do not reflect the views of the editor or staff of The Mercury. If you would like to have your letter published, email [email protected]

The Mercury

IFP


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