We have a situation in KwaZulu-Natal where 11 chiefs have applied to have their status upgraded to Kings, on a par with King Goodwill Zwelithini, the current Zulu monarch.
I think this row needs to be viewed in the context of what the people think, and if a recent poll conducted by IOL is anything to go by, the mood could only be described as “underwelming”.
Of the 780 respondents to the IOL poll question, “Should King Goodwill Zwelithini be the sole king of the Zulus?”, 214 have voted “yes” (28 percent), while 52 voted “no” (seven percent) and 514 voted “who cares” (66 percent).
Let me tell you why you should care.
The 2005/2006 budget for the Royal Household was close to R25-million and they also requested a R14,3-million “top-up”. Over an above this the King also requested an additional R5,8-million for a Mercedes S600 for himself, a Mercedes E280 for each of his 6 wives, and a general upgrade to his fleet of luxury cars and 4×4’s.
Other cash requests include R3,5-million to repair royal palaces, R5,6-million for goods and services, R730 000 for personal expenditure and medical aid of R304 000 a year for the king, his six queens and 17 children.
Other expenses include new linen at R280 000 per palace for five palaces and 20 beds for the Enyokeni Palace at R100 000
And who is paying for all of this? You and I, the ordinary South African taxpayer.
Now multiply this madness another 12 times and ask yourself, “why am I being asked to foot the bill for 12 “Kings” in 2007?”
Did I “vote” for them? NO.
Am I a Zulu? NO.
Do they benefit, me, my family or my country? NO.
The claims by the 11 pretenders to the throne, I might add, are quite legitimate, because in the tangled web of Zulu genealogy, almost any Zulu could claim to be a direct descendant of one or other “King” of the past.
Here is an example;
King Goodwill Zwelithini is a descendant of King Mpande who was a half brother of King Shaka and King Dingane (both of whom had no known descendants). King Mpande took over the throne from Dingane and ruled for over 30 years. He had 29 wives from which 29 Princes and 23 Princesses were born. They and their descendants were all referred to as AbaNtwana
Prince Dabulamanzi (died 22nd September 1886) was the only child of King Mpande’s 7th wife Nseyane Sanguza Gumede and he was placed in the Udhloko Regiment and was known to have fought at the Battles of Rorke’s Drift and Gingindhlovu in 1879. Prince Dabulamanzi had 20 wives and 37 children…….
See what I mean? With 20 plus wives per generation and 35 or more children, almost anybody in KwaZulu-Natal could claim to be a “King”.
Here is my proposal;
- There is only one King.
- He is entitled to live in absolute luxury, and have as many wives and Mercedes as he pleases.
- This King is voted for by Zulus, or anyone else who would like to be classified as a Zulu.
- A “Zulu Tax” is levied on all these Zulus to pay for the lavish lifestyle of their King.
- The rest of us are left alone to get on with the 21st Century.