Appealing for peace and calm, incoming amaZulu King Misuzulu Zulu KaZwelithini, has instructed his subjects to withdraw from participating in the wanton destruction of businesses, looting and public violence gripping KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The King made the call during an address to the nation on Wednesday amid public violence, which has taken place over the past six days. The unrest, which started in KZN on Friday, had by Tuesday evening claimed the lives of 72 people in the two provinces.
The brazen demolition of infrastructure, the King said, was not the right way to express dissatisfaction, saying it created a picture of a people “who have lost their dignity”.
“What is even more saddening is that so many of those who are drawn into this lawlessness and criminality are members of the Zulu nation.
“It has brought great shame upon us, as all fingers are pointed at my father’s people.
“I never thought after the tragic passing of my parents that I would see our own people so complicit in burning down the country,” he said.
King Misuzulu said he fully understood the depression, borne of poverty and unemployment, especially among the youth, which has led some to join in the chaos.
Despite this, he appealed to the nation to take a step back and consider the damage that the protest action had inflicted.
He said while the chaos will destroy the country’s economy, the poor and vulnerable will pay the highest price.
“When food cannot be delivered – because trucks and warehouses are being burned by our people – we will go hungry. As my father King Goodwill Zwelithini would say; let us stay away from match sticks.
“When vaccines and medicines cannot be delivered, there will be no help for the sick and the dying,” said the King.
Compounding matters, he said, is that the violence is unfolding amid the deadly third wave of COVID-19. For this reason, he said he believes that his father’s people are “committing suicide”.
“One cannot see, but it is happening.
“Our nation is highly respected all over the world, and is known as a nation that is very proud of its dignity and morals,” said King Misuzulu, urging the nation to stop participating in the destruction of the country.
“I appeal for calm; for peace to be restored. I call on our people to lead by example [and] not allow politics to change [the] dignity of our nation to be led to destruction. We are better than this. Let us respect the rule of law, and ensure order returns.”
Calls for unity between amaZulu and Indians
He further urged amaZulu and Indians in the province to continue to live in harmony, saying the province has the second largest concentration of Indians outside of India.
This came amid reports of tribal attacks pitting blacks against Indians in suburbs in the province.