royal warning on democracy

THE Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, has warned that the country's democracy is at risk if people are still ravaged by poverty, hunger and joblessness.

He was speaking in Pietermaritzburg yesterday during the official opening of the fourth term of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.

"It is true that democracy is at risk if children and widows are exposed to hunger and suffering. There is no doubt that democracy is at risk if my people are subjected to widespread crime.

"Democracy is in danger if MECs and public servants are lazy, forgetting that the vulnerable members of our communities, such as pensioners, are suffering from hunger," he said.

Zwelithini emphasised the importance of the government in strengthening the partnership with the community.

"We recognise the role played by various communities during the fight for liberation and I have no doubt that communities will still play an important role to ensure the reconstruction and development of this province," he said.

He urged political parties to work together towards the common goal of service delivery and development.

Zwelithini also hailed President Jacob Zuma for bringing peace and stability to the province.

He said Zuma played a major role in improving the lives of people of KwaZulu-Natal during his time as MEC for economic development and tourism.

"President Zuma demonstrated courage and commitment in developing all communities without bias. This resulted in this province being developed and attractive to foreign and domestic investors and tourists."