Zwelithi: The South African king whose remarks launched the xenophobic attacks




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Zulu King Godwill Zwelithi’s utterances on March 23 launched the Xenophobic in South and he had refused apologise, even after finding out that his people have maimed, killed and destroyed businesses belonging black foreigners.
He’s still insisting that foreigners should go back their countries but he has tried save face by saying attacking the foreigners is not how chase them away. He wants the government to do it legally.

During a speech last month, Zwelithini called for the deportation foreign nationals living in the country, saying it unacceptable locals were being made compete with people other countries for the few economic available. King Zwelithi said “foreigners must pack their bags and go home”.

His three complaints and why he wanted foreigners to go were; 1. traders in the townships said they could not compete with the prices that foreign-owned businesses were selling their products. 2. Foreigners were involved in crime. 3. Lack respect shown by foreigners to locals.

Addressing Pongolo community members during a moral regeneration event, Zwelithi accused government failing to protect locals the “influx foreign nationals”. He said: “Most government leaders do not want to speak out on this  matter because they are scared   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.

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“We are requesting those who come 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,” he said.
His comments were widely condemned with the SA DA describing it as “highly irresponsible. given the recent spate of xenophobic in South , 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 apologise 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 talking about foreigners who are here illegally. Some are involved in serious crimes like 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 on Monday in an effort to quell the . He’s expected to address the public directly and clarify his and ask his people to stop the violence which his words started.