The IFP is deeply perturbed by the offensive behaviour of the ANC Government towards the monarchy in KwaZulu-Natal.
Proposals have been tabled by the ANC in the Rules’ Committee of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature to scrap the guard of honour which salutes the King, and to compress the two-day opening ceremony of the Legislature by discarding the day specifically set aside for the King’s address. The intention is to combine the King’s and the Premier’s speeches. This shows utter disdain towards His Majesty.
In addition to this, the ANC Government has given tacit support to a faction that is against the coronation of His Majesty the King, by not supporting the Reed Dance ceremonies held in eMachobeni, Ingwavuma and Enyokeni Royal Palace, or this year’s uMkhosi weLembe in KwaDukuza, preferring to make funds available for the KZN Provincial Government’s Heritage Day Celebration. The tactic of withholding funds to assist His Majesty can only be meant to alienate the King and to make a mockery of the monarchy.
This is uncouth disrespect of the highest order towards the King. One cannot help but be reminded of the ANC’s past expressions of contempt for the monarchy. There was a time when it was said that the late King would be Mandela’s tea boy, that Prince Buthelezi would work in the garden, and all traditional leaders would become factory security guards, when the ANC came into power. The ANC’s present actions suggest that it has not moved away from these sentiments of contempt towards the King and the Royal Family.
By contrast, in 1994 Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the IFP fought tooth and nail for the Constitution to include the recognition of the monarchy. At Prince Buthelezi’s insistence, President FW de Klerk reconvened Parliament for one day, with the sole purpose of inserting the recognition of the monarchy into the Interim Constitution. Tragically, however, it was not included in the final Constitution.
The IFP only agreed to participate in the 1994 elections on the basis of a solemn agreement signed by then President de Klerk, Mr Mandela and Prince Buthelezi on the 19th of April 1994, in which a commitment was made to convene international mediation as soon as possible after the elections to deal with the outstanding issue of the monarchy.
It is a matter of history that the ANC reneged on that commitment. They went even further however, when – after having agreed to the provincial Constitution of KwaZulu-Natal which enshrined the monarchy – the ANC went behind our backs to the Constitutional Court to halt the certification of that Constitution.
The tradition of the King taking the salute outside the Legislature was started under the IFP’s leadership. The ANC took over this tradition and have maintained it for years. It is perplexing that now certain individuals within the ANC suddenly claim that saluting His Majesty the King is irrelevant and unconstitutional. This is reminiscent of the ANC’s decision to disband the Royal Household Department and made it a mere Directorate, again undermining the King.
Why is the ANC determined not to accord His Majesty our King the respect he deserves? The withdrawal of the King’s security is another strategy designed to minimise and reduce resources allocated to the King.
The writing is on the wall that the resources offered to the Queens will be reduced and withdrawn at some stage. It is now obvious that the Government’s intention is to maintain only one Palace, which will be used by the current King and all future Kings.
The IFP will not be silent and simply allow the ANC to proceed with its mission of reducing the Zulu monarch to a puppet. We believe that contempt for the Zulu monarch is contempt for the people themselves.