Don't use culture to legitimise abuse of women and children, says Zulu monarch

King Goodwill Zwelthini has criticised men who use culture and tradition to abuse women and children, and to hide the abuse.
King Goodwill Zwelthini has criticised men who use culture and tradition to abuse women and children, and to hide the abuse.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

King Goodwill Zwelithini has come out strongly against those who use culture and tradition to abuse women and children.

Speaking at the KwaZulu-Natal opening of the legislature on Tuesday, the king said those who abducted young girls and forced them into marriage, to silence them after they have sexually abused them, were not practising the tradition of Ukuthwalwa.

“Ukuthwalwa kwezingane (of children) to hide the abuse, that is not Zulu or Nguni tradition,” the King said.

As a custodian of Zulu culture in SA, the king said such practices constituted abuse and should be condemned.

He also spoke against “false prophets” who use false myth and superstition that threatens the lives of one of society's most marginalised groups.

“I am concerned about the pervasive matter that those living with albinism must be killed for luck because those people lie to you using culture. I can assure you that is not culture.”

The king also called on men to respect their wives.

“Those who say wives have no say in their homes and marriages, why did you take them to build a family with?”

The king's address at the official opening of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature precedes the state of the province address by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala on Wednesday.


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