'My father's people are committing suicide': Zulu King pleads with rioters
'I appeal to the Zulu nation to withdraw from participation in the destruction of our country. I appeal for calm, for peace to be restored' — King Misuzulu
Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has characterised the violent protests and looting gripping KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as tantamount to suicide.
This he said as he addressed the Zulu nation from his palace in Ulundi, northern KZN, on Wednesday.
According to the king, the poor people taken advantage of by politicians were the same individuals who would carry the brunt of the consequences of the current looting.
Worse still, he said, ransacking and bringing the economy to a standstill during a pandemic is plain suicidal.
“When medicines and vaccines cannot be delivered, there will be no help for the sick and dying,” said Misuzulu. “Vital supply chains have been damaged and it is our very own families who will suffer the consequences knowing that all this is happening in a time of a pandemic.
“The only conclusion possible [is] my father's people are committing suicide and one cannot see it, but it is happening.”
We take a look at the past seven days and how the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma ignited one of the worst looting events in recent history which saw thousands arrested and 72 die in the riots.
Misuzulu said his father, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, would be disappointed at his people playing a leading role in destroying the economy of the country.
The king said the chaos in the province, mainly in Durban, was a “shame” to the Zulu nation which does not augur well for the respect and might it had been associated with for decades.
Let us not allow politics to taint the dignity of our nation to be led to destruction. We are much better than this.King Misuzulu kaZwelithini
To reclaim the nation's dignity, he said, Zulu people must not allow themselves to partake in political football and must stop their actions immediately.
“I appeal to you, my father's people, Zulu is our own heritage that we must cherish and guard as our own treasure. I therefore appeal to the Zulu nation to withdraw from the participation in the destruction of our country. I appeal for calm, for peace to be restored.
“Let us not allow politics to taint the dignity of our nation to be led to destruction. We are much better than this. We are people of dignity. Therefore let us respect the rule of law and ensure the order returns to KwaZulu-Natal.”
Even if Zulu people were unhappy that one of their own — former president Jacob Zuma — was sentenced to 15 months in jail, looting was “not the right way to express our dissatisfaction”.
The scenes that have been seen in the province over the past few days, he said, have “brought great shame upon us all”.