Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has lashed out at the KwaZulu-Natal government, led by Premier Sbu Ndebele, for what he says is a distortion of historical events.
He said it was not factual that King Cetshwayo had ordered the killing of the revolting Ingcugce regiment in 1876.
The king was addressing hundreds of people in Greytown during the unveiling of King Dinuzulu's statue on Thursday.
Zwelithini, pictured, said it was wrong that the king had ordered their murder.
Instead it was the girls' parents who ordered that they be killed for defying the king.
"The king never ordered that they be killed. From ancient history, a Zulu man was protective of his woman and the king would not have ordered that they be murdered.
"Their own fathers took a solemn decision, without any pressure from anyone. It was the fathers' own decision that their daughters, who had defied the king and long-standing tradition, must die," said Zwelithini.
He said it was important that the correct history be told. "We need to tell the truth for the sake of future generations. It is vital that we preserve our history," he said.
Head of the commemoration programme in the premier's office, Nana Ngobese, said Ndebele never said the king ordered the killings.
He only said the women were killed for standing their ground and making their own decisions about the men they wanted to marry.
Ndebele's spokesman, Logan Maistrey, said the commemoration was the provincial government's programme and referred us to Mandla Msomi, the provincial spokesman. However, Msomi was not available for comment.
Ndebele launched the commemoration in Pietermaritzburg last month. He said the programme was to show that women in KwaZulu-Natal have long been transforming institutions, changing traditions and movements.
"The liberation of women in South Africa, which is today enshrined in the constitution, is a long journey in which African women have been leaders and not just beneficiaries.
"Women's collective power must be used to challenge the remnants of gender discrimination in our society," Ndebele said.