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Indaba today on 11 chiefs' demands

By unknown | Aug 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

KwaZulu-Natal Premier S'bu Ndebele is expected to meet King Goodwill Zwelithini today to discuss the issue of the 11 chiefs who are demanding the same status as the Zulu monarch.

Sowetan has been reliably informed that the meeting will take place at the king's Nyokeni royal palace at Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Ndebele's spokesman Logan Mainstry would neither confirm nor deny the meeting.

"I am not sure, but call me tomorrow and I will comment," was all he was prepared to say.

Nhlamvuyelanga Jobe, Zwelithini's secretary, confirmed the meeting, but was not sure about what would be discussed.

"I know that Ndebele is meeting the king, but I do not know what will be discussed," Jobe said.

The meeting comes barely a week after the provincial cabinet gave Zwelithini the thumbs-up as the only recognised king in the province.

In a statement, Mandla Msomi, the cabinet spokesman, said they recognised Zwelithini as the only monarch.

"The cabinet felt that the existing legislation relating to traditional leadership should put the matter to rest," said Msomi.

On Friday, during Zwelithini's birthday, ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma pledged his unqualified support for the king.

Zuma recognised Zwelithini as the only monarch in KwaZulu-Natal.

Also, the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders, through its chairman Mangosuthu Buthelezi, criticised those pretending to be kings.

Buthelezi even blamed the ANC-led government for these developments.

"The origins of this admittedly bizarre episode lie in the government's failure to clarify the role and functions of traditional leaders and to resolve the broader Zulu question.

"Many people now forget that the Zulu nation entered into the new constitutional dispensation with crystal clear assurances concerning the status of the nation and the monarch," Buthelezi said.

Those persisting with their claims to demand the status as that of the king are Amahlubi, AmaThonga, Tembe, Nhlangwini, Amangwane and Amazizi.


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