King Zwelithini to express his thoughts on xenophobic violence On Monday.
FILE PIC: King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. (Photo: DoC)
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini will hold an imbizo (high-level gathering) on Monday
with other traditional leaders and government dignitaries to express his opinion on the recent spate of xenophobic violence plaguing the country.
The announcement was made today by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu at a press conference.
Last month Zwelithini sparked controversy by calling for the deportation of foreign nationals living in the country. He said it was unacceptable that locals were being made to compete with people from other countries for the few economic opportunities available. His remarks were followed by an outbreak of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal, which saw foreign-owned shops being looted. The attacks on foreign nationals later spread to other parts of the country – including Johannesburg – and left at least five people dead.
Addressing the media, Mchunu called on South Africans not to take advantage of Zwelithini’s statement and attack non-South Africans living in the country.
“We condemn the attacks on foreign nationals, but we also condemn any attack on our people who are local nationals,” said Mchunu.
Mchunu appealed to foreign nationals not to arm themselves.
“We reject that totally, and we want to send the message that we should stop that. However, we are concerned about their safety, and that is why the number of police has been increased in this province,” he said.
The premier thanked everyone who took part in the peace march that took place in Durban on Thursday.
Zwelithini continues to be lambasted on social media, following his remarks, with many using the hashtag #ZwelithiniMustFall.