IFP: the Late AmaZulu King’s Statue Must Be Erected in Ulundi

Jun 29, 2023 | Press Releases, Provincial (KZN/Gauteng)

During a debate in the KZN Legislature today – on the Motion raised by the ANC that King Goodwill kaBhekuzulu be honoured with a statue in the Legislature precinct – IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature, Mr Blessed Gwala MPL, said: “Let me say from the outset that the IFP, on principle, supports any initiative to honour the heritage of the Zulu Kingdom and the lineage of our Kings. We know, better than anyone, the importance of erecting statues and tombstones as tangible reminders of the strength of our inheritance. The IFP learnt this from our Founder and President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for he has done more to honour our Kings and our heritage than anyone.”

“The IFP supports the proposal to erect a statue of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. It would not be anything that has not been done before. What we cannot understand, however, is why the ANC wants to put this statue on rented premises, when it is already talking about moving the Legislature away from this place. A statue of King Goodwill Zwelithini, the longest reigning King of the Zulu Nation, rightly belongs alongside the statue of King Shaka, the founder of the Zulu Nation, which stands in Ulundi. What is also in Ulundi, is a state-of-the-art Provincial Legislature building, which was the seat of South Africa’s first non-racial, non-discriminatory government; the KwaZulu-Natal Joint Executive Authority. Ulundi is where the statue of King Goodwill Zwelithini should be erected because Ulundi is where the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature should rightly be. It is good to see the ANC finally starting to learn from Prince Buthelezi. We challenge them, however, to honour the late King appropriately, by placing this statue where it rightly belongs: at the historical seat of governance of the Zulu Kingdom. This statue, and this Legislature, belong in Ulundi,” added Mr Gwala.

“We applauded him when he erected a tombstone in honour of his uncle Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme. It was sad that, more than thirty years after his passing, the ANC had not yet honoured the founder of Africa’s oldest liberation movement by erecting Dr Seme’s tombstone. But Prince Buthelezi’s close relationship with his mentor, and his consistent example of honouring our heritage, made it natural for him to be the one to do so. Lest we forget, it was Prince Buthelezi who ensured that the Monarchy was officially recognised the moment the KwaZulu Government was given autonomy to legislate. It was Prince Buthelezi who insisted on a budget for the King. It was Prince Buthelezi who ensured that palaces were built for the King, that the King was allocated protectors and provided with static security. It was Prince Buthelezi who insisted that the King’s salary be higher than his own as Chief Minister of the KwaZulu Government, in recognition of the King’s status, because the King had been head of government before the defeat of the Zulu Nation. Prince Buthelezi’s constant goal has been to refurbish the institution of the monarchy”, continued Mr Gwala.

“And it was Prince Buthelezi who protected all the land of the Zulu Kingdom when he created the Ingonyama Trust, placing it under the sole custodianship of His Majesty our King. We have not forgotten that in 2018, a report by a High-Level Panel, headed by former President Kgalema Motlanthe, made recommendations that the Ingonyama Trust Act must be repealed, and the ANC has not rejected the recommendations. To date, we do not know what the former KZN Legislature Speaker, Ms Lydia Johnson, and the former KZN Premier, Willies Mchunu, submitted on our behalf without consulting us, as views contained in the submissions presented to the High-Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change for the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust Act. I think the ANC in this House must come clean on this matter. I call upon you Hon. Speaker, to table the report in this House without any further delay”, concluded Mr Gwala.

Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature,
078 290 5842

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