Despite being caught up in an appearance on Friday morning in the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court to face charges of incitement, EFF leader Julius Malema still found time to react to news that AfriForum and Solidarity met with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
He called it “Interesting!”
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) July 27, 2018
The Afrikaner groups had met with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini on Thursday and agreed to work together on issues of social importance, they announced.
CEO of AfriForum Kallie Kriel said this decision was made during their meeting with Zwelithini and his lawyer Jerome Ngwenya, the chairperson of the king’s Ingonyama Trust.
The king is the trust’s sole trustee.
Several points of mutual interest, Kriel said, were identified between the king and AfriForum, including the need for a good relationship among different cultural groups in the country based on mutual recognition and respect; a mutual concern about property expropriation without compensation; and the need for cooperation to build the local economy to benefit everyone in the community.
Malema and AfriForum have long been bitter political opponents, with the rights group dragging him to court, starting with his days in the ANC Youth League when they were able to successfully have him found guilty of hate speech for singing “Kill the Boer”.
Malema has in the past also found himself at loggerheads with the king, intentionally or not, to the point that some of his members in KwaZulu-Natal urged him to apologise. He refused.
In March, Malema criticised Zwelithini for allegedly fanning black-on-black violence with his statements about the expropriation of land without compensation.
Zwelithini said anyone who tried to interfere with the land under his jurisdiction would face the wrath of the Zulus in a war similar to that waged by the Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem. He added that Zulus were as attached to their land as Muslims were to Mecca.
His comments, made during the opening of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and later the provincial house of traditional leaders, sparked fears that Zulus could interpret it as a licence to attack those associated with land expropriation, particularly the EFF.
Malema warned Zwelithini to desist from threatening violence.
“The Zulu king must stop these threats of violence. We are not scared. I am scared of no one. No amount of violence can scare me because some of us are surprised that we are still alive today,” he said.
“Let us not talk war, let us not beat the war drum. We love the Zulu king, but we must discuss issues openly even if we disagree with the king.
“We have never promised war on the Zulu king. We have never promised war on the whites. No one is talking war here. We are saying let us have a peaceful engagement,” he said.
Malema said Zwelithini needed to be aware that any action that pitted blacks against blacks was unacceptable.
He also accused the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal of tip-toeing around the issue of land expropriation without compensation, despite the ANC national conference resolving in December to implement the policy.
He claimed this contradicted the ANC’s December conference decision.
The EFF, however, earlier this month had to make concessions to traditional leaders’ body Contralesa that they would rethink their policy of total expropriation of land, including of that already under the control of black people, particularly chiefs and kings. They also agreed to cooperate and continue with mutual task teams and dialogue.
In the wake of Zwelithini’s huge unhappiness at the recommendations of a parliamentary high-level panel that recommended that people in rural KwaZulu-Natal should be given title deeds and the laws around the Ingonyama Trust be done away with, President Cyril Ramaphosa personally travelled to see the king to reassure him that this would not happen.
Many analysts interpreted this as a sign that the ANC may be concerned about losing support in rural KwaZulu-Natal. However, another analyst said yesterday that the ANC is likely to lose significant support in the province anyway.
While Malema was clearly constrained by realpoilitik to limit his response about the AfriForum-Zwelithini engagement, others on Twitter were less reserved.
Gatsha sold us to the apartheid regime before, this is nothing new with them there in KZN!!!
— SikaBopha (@osmaseko) July 27, 2018
Some, particularly EFF supporters, believe the king is consorting with “the enemy” and should be considered a traitor and a sellout.
Others, though, defended the king and his willingness to reach out to white people.
Continue disrespecting our KING and you gonna lose many votes in KZN including mine pic.twitter.com/hjGX8Fekhc
— Sandile Ngubo Ngxabi???? (@Sandile_C_Ngubo) July 27, 2018
This is more interesting pic.twitter.com/maKYSQs4Ip
— Blackmore Qualkie (@blackmorequalki) July 27, 2018
I wash my hands for King Zwelithini, this guy is a sellout of not. pic.twitter.com/LXRaWeRgdR
— #EffTurns5 (@aLefighterWaleE) July 27, 2018
This picture of iNkosi u Zwelithini taking pictures with Boers is infuriating. It makes him and all the traditional leaders look bad & look like sell outs
— Tshawe'Lihle (@NdabaNduna) July 27, 2018
Three weeks ago Julius I tweeted that Zwelithini is bluffing about making KZN a state because he himself needs government,you those whites don't need government for anything causer they own banks,Zwelithini needs someone to finance that Trust,I think that's why his reached out. https://t.co/tRJYAulEZp
— Kanyo Sinyanya (@KanyoSinyanya) July 27, 2018
Not really suprising….. i said this long time ago, That Zwelithini is bound to be backed by these right wing elements in his fight to keep his land, and booom….. Afriforum and Solidarity are backing him, guess what his subjects will follow him like they did during apartheid https://t.co/eVh2afYZM5
— The Oracle (@Khaswi_) July 27, 2018
Chief, Speak of Zwelithini alone. https://t.co/GJ7irH4FjS
— Tshepo (@Tumiishi) July 27, 2018
Where are Zwelithini supporters and subjects? What do you have to say about your King? pic.twitter.com/M0ngxikJoy
— #SinuousLinesDesign (@Sentletse) July 27, 2018
When you enter into an alliance, you stand to benefit; that's how alliances work. Mpande agreed. More recently, Buthelezi agreed with my assessment, not yours. And AfriForum and King Zwelithini reached an agreement of cooperation yesterday. You're the one who divides.
— Wolfie Inu (@InuWolfie) July 27, 2018
Hay u Zwelithini kodwa… What is he doing with Afriforum? The thieves who stole our land, the racists who want to keep us oppressed? https://t.co/R20BoQnnr9
— Tshawe'Lihle (@NdabaNduna) July 27, 2018
Zwelithini and the Boers never liked a democratic South Africa – the Boers supplying Inkatha (amabutho) with weapons. A repeat of a fresh ugly history… pic.twitter.com/5v9UlRKFHZ
— Bakang (@Bakzyi) July 27, 2018
Anyone and everyone who supports Zwelithini uqhunyiwe. pic.twitter.com/kthvMtbk5v
— Lonwabo McFarlane ka Molose (@khazi_indika) July 27, 2018
Coincidentally, others have been wishing the king a happy birthday.
A happy birthday to His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini Bayede! Hlanga lomhlabathi. Sithuli sikaNdaba. Mageba! pic.twitter.com/QJ40tGNs3B
— Baba ka Thingo ???? ???? ???? (@EazyLabs) July 27, 2018
Happy bevday to His Majesty King Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu. Ndabezitha. pic.twitter.com/q1IAT54SHT
— almaz sithole (@almazsithole) July 27, 2018
Happy 70th birthday to My King Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu. Unwele olude Ndlovu edla abasondezeli bayo???? ???????????? pic.twitter.com/xLz1UxOEKR
— Kati LaseRank???? (@biyela_bongz) July 27, 2018
Happy Birthday to our life President- His Majesty King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu pic.twitter.com/EWwWgtqptJ
— AmaZulu FC (@AmaZuluFootball) July 27, 2018