Zulu King Godwill Zwelithi’s utterances on March 23rd launched the
Zenophobic attacks in South
Africa and he had refused to apologize, even after finding out that his
people have maimed, killed and destroyed businesses belonging to black
foreigners. He’s still insisting that foreigners should go back
to their countries but tried to save face by saying attacking the
foreigners is not how to chase them away. He wants the government to do
During a speech last month, Zwelithini called for the deportation of
foreign nationals living in the country, saying it was unacceptable
locals were being made to compete with people from other countries for
the few economic opportunities they had available. King Zwelithi said “foreigners must pack their
bags and go home”.
His three major complaints and why he wanted foreigners to go were; 1.
SA traders in the townships said they could not compete with
the prices that foreign-owned businesses were selling their products.
2; foreigners involved in crime. 3. Lack of respect shown
by foreigners to locals.
Addressing Pongolo community members during a moral regeneration
event, Zwelithini accused government of failing to protect
locals from the “influx of foreign nationals”. He said;
“Most government leaders
do not want to speak out on this matter because they are scared of
losing votes. As the king of the Zulu nation, I cannot tolerate a
situation where we are being led by leaders with no views whatsoever.
“We are requesting those who come from outside to please go back to
their countries. The fact that there were countries
that played a role in the country’s struggle for liberation should not
be used as an excuse to create a situation where foreigners are allowed
to inconvenience locals. I know you were in their countries during the
struggle for liberation. But the fact of the matter is you did not set
up businesses in their countries.”
His comments were widely condemned with the SA DA describing it “highly irresponsible’ ‘Particularly given the recent spate of
xenophobic attacks in South Africa, he should do the right thing –
retract and apologise,”
He didn’t and his spokesman went on record to say the King had nothing to apologize for, that he meant every word he said.
“I think the people who’re complaining are misinterpreting his
speech. He didn’t say foreigners must be attacked or harassed. The king
was talking about foreigners who are here illegally. Some are involved
in serious crimes like drug and human trafficking. We don’t need such
people in our country so the king is right.” His spokesman said
After the killing spread across different cities, the king has relented a
little and is planning to speak to his people this Monday in an effort
to quell the attacks. He’s expected to address the public directly and
statement and ask his people to stop the violence which his words