Controversial Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has again come under fire – this time for comments he allegedly made praising the “successes” of the apartheid regime.
Democratic Alliance leader Zwakele Mncwango said the kings comments were irresponsible and it condemned them.
He apparently made the comments at his waKhethomthandayo royal palace in Nongoma on Saturday night where he was celebrating his 44-years as Zulu monarch.
The Mercury newspaper in Durban, reported on Monday that Zwelithini had said that the National Party had built a powerful government with the strongest economy and army on the continent, but then came “this so-called democracy” in which black people started destroying the gains of the past.
The king said history would judge black people harshly as they had failed to build on the successes of the Afrikaner regime.
“The economy that we are now burning down. You do not want to build on what you had inherited. You are going to find yourselves on the wrong side of history,” he was quoted as saying.
However, Mncwango warned that the king had appeared to forget that the successes of the apartheid regime were built at the expense of the masses who were oppressed.
“We find it irresponsible for a leader to admire a cruel and oppressive regime that for years and years oppressed, killed and exploited people of colour. We think the Monarchy should instead acknowledge that things were not so rosy in this country, under the apartheid government. While a small minority enjoyed benefits of the apartheid government, the country was actually falling apart.”
Mncwango said that the king should not forget that the continent’s strongest army was used against its own people to help keep a few people in power.
Mncwango said the problems in the country were not due to apartheid, but due to “a government with policies that cater for a few connected individuals only. The current economic policies by the governing ANC (African National Congress) do very little, if any, to redress the imbalances of the past.”
The king is the second high-profile person this year in KwaZulu-Natal to become embroiled in controversy over statements that life was better under the former apartheid regime.
In October, the DA’s shadow minister for police, Dianne Kohler Barnard was expelled from the party for reposting a former journalist’s Facebook post which claimed life was better under former President PW Botha.