Royals call on zuma to end feud

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The Zulu royal family has approached ANC president Jacob Zuma to intervene in the bitter row between MEC for traditional affairs Mike Mabuyakhulu and chairman of the House of Traditional Leaders Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Prince Muntukaphiwana Zulu told amakhosi at a meeting in Ulundi that the royal family was worried about the growing tension between Buthelezi and Mabuyakhulu.

"There were princes who saw the confrontation between Mabuyakhulu and Buthelezi during the Freedom Day celebrations and it worried them," Zulu said.

"So we decided to approach the ANC president to mediate because we believe he is the only person who can come up with a lasting solution to this conflict."

He indicated that they had thought of approaching the ANC leadership in the province but realised that it "would not be impartial" in the matter.

"The relationship between the two leaders has reached a dead end." Zulu said. "We believe that Buthelezi as chairman and Mabuyakhulu as political head of the house should be on good terms."

Zulu said the royal family had sent a letter to Zuma's office and had got acknowledgement of it being received.

"I also received a call from Msholozi when he was attending the graduation ceremony at the University of Zululand last week," Zulu said.

"He promised to look into the matter as soon as he returned from business trips overseas."

Zulu also said that as princes they were worried about the political relationship between the ANC and IFP in the province.

"We are worried that such conflicts might have a negative effect on the general public in our province," he said.

"We are waiting to hear from Zuma's office when he will meet us."

Mabuyakhulu and Buthelezi have been at loggerheads for the past few weeks after a decision to make the positions of chairman of house and deputy permanent before June 1.

Buthelezi is reported to have accosted Mabuyakhulu during the Freedom Day celebrations, accusing him "of lying about his name".

Mabuyakhulu has instructed his lawyers to demand a public apology from Buthelezi.

ANC national spokesman Jessie Duarte has confirmed that the party's general secretary, Gwede Mantashe, had also received a letter about the fallout between the two leaders.