Spat almost wrecks Dinuzulu unveiling

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A squabble between the ANC and IFP almost scuppered the enormous R500000 bash to officially unveil the R1million statue of King Dinuzulu in Greytown in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.

The ANC challenged the IFP-run municipality over the need for the statue when residents were still without basic services such as water, sanitation, houses and employment.

The political grandstanding is worrying Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and the royal family.

Speaking as prime minister of the Zulu nation and chairman of the provincial House of Traditional Leaders, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the squabble between the Umvoti municipality and the opposition ANC was cause for concern.

Buthelezi said he had spoken to Zwelithini about the politics and the king was "hurt".

"As the closest descendants of King Dinuzulu, we are very sad about statements that this was a waste of money," said Buthelezi.

ANC spokesman Bhekisisa Xulu said the IFP had not consulted with all stakeholders on holding such an important ceremony.

"Only three of the 21-member council decided on the ceremony and even set up a budget for it.

"We are also concerned that people here have lost their homes during the recent floods and are still homeless. The money should have been properly used to assist those people," said Xulu.

Premier S'bu Ndebele said those who claimed that the unveiling was a waste of money were probably never "degraded of their dignity".

"They must be people who never suffered at the hands of colonial regimes."