Zulu king warns politicians to unite against Covid-19 or face punishment by ancestors
King Goodwill Zwelithini has urged politicians to unite in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and gender-based violence, or face the wrath of their ancestors.
The Zulu king was speaking at Umkhosi we Lembe — the annual commemoration of the day King Shaka was killed — hosted at the eNyokeni royal house in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
The king urged opposition political parties to work together against the pandemic and its effects on the economy.
“If you are here and you take the route of hate against one another because of politics, your ancestors will forsake you.
“It would be a mistake if I do not keep the tradition of honouring our history and highlighting that we all took part in building this nation and that is unity against a common enemy, despite our difference,” the king said.
He said the enemy this time was Covid-19 and urged political leaders to heed his call.
“The enemy is scared of unity, we can have differences but we have to come together.
“I know that the history of Zulus says when we are together we survive, we will not be defeated by Covid-19 ...
“It is paramount to be unified against the enemy and the enemy right now is Covid-19, we can disagree in politics but against this pandemic we have to be together,” the king added.
He said the pandemic had affected all South Africans.
The king lost his brother, Prince Mandla Zulu, and sister, Queen Noloyiso Sandile, to the virus.
The king also spoke passionately on how the pandemic had made conditions easier for women and children abusers to thrive.
“This pandemic came while we were already dealing with abuse of women and the lockdown made it worse, because men have pride.
“It's the women who go out there and try to put food on the table and men use that opportunity to abuse children,” he said.
He also praised President Cyril Ramaphosa and health minister Zweli Mkhize for the government's efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
“While the hard lockdown has had a negative impact on the livelihoods of our people, it has become obvious how if our government had not taken the steps it took we would be worse off, that is why even the World Health Organisation has lauded our government response,” he explained.
He urged South Africans to continue to adhere to government regulations on level one of the pandemic, saying it was the only way to beat the spread of Covid-19.
The king also encouraged the continued wearing of masks and social distancing.