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21st May 2005Buthelezi & Zwelethini
By Peter Ewart
Did this morning's meeting in the Princess Magogo stadium proceed along the lines previewed in the press? Has Buthelezi finally "burnt his boats" with the King?

I thought KZN politics was complicated enough already & I do sometimes struggle to follow things, but is this not a new dimension? Or more of the same? Anyone in RSA care to update, clarify or illuminate, please, without necessarily taking sides? (Can't get ILANGA online & wouldn't get far if I could!)


22nd May 2005Michael Boyle

I can't for the life of me find it right now, but in the last few days I came across an article on the web that bemoaned the fact that the current direction of KZN was on an eerily similar course to that imposed by Wolsey with his 13 kingdoms. It defended the post of 'traditional' prime minister yet decried the idea of reducing the King's immediate influence to his 'house' and disbanding the traditional input from amakhosi.

The closest I can come up with now for background is:

And for todays report:

It would seem that Chief Buthelezi is adamant that they remain Zulus first and South Africans second.

Hopefully someone on the scene can help illucidate for us.



22nd May 2005Mike McCabe
Interesting (and complicated) stuff...on which a few thoughts.
Some fundamentals need recalling:
- That King Zwelithini is the recognised king; within KZN, by the Zulu people, and within conventional interpretations of the RSA's constitution as it refers to Traditional Leaders.
- Nevertheless the Zulu 'kingdom' is not, and since 1879 never has been, a recognised political or constitutional identity or entity in the various evolutions and interpretations of Colonial, the Union's, and the Republic's laws.
- That the King's core function is effectively that of the recognised 'ethnarch' - similar to, though not closely, the role taken up by Archbishop Makarios in Cyprus.
- That, probably, King Zwelithini recognises the need (generally) to stand above short term politics, at least as hispublic stance. In this respect, the King can hardly be seen to 'jump' to an agenda led by Prince Buthelezi.
- That the role of Prince Buthelezi, as 'heriditary Chief Minister', has traditional and modern components.
- In its longer term traditional sense it represents a living reminder of the 'fix' reconciling the respectinive interests and ambitions of the Buthelezi and Usuth u factions as the MPande succession was settled. It also has an honorific character, rather as the Duke of Norfolk is the Premier Duke and Earl Marshal.
- In its modern reality, we need to remember its significance when Prince Buthelez was de facto Chief Minister of Kwa Zulu, it having resolutely refused to become an 'independent Bantustan' in the late 1970s.
It would appear that Prince Buthelezi now seeks a leadership role at the KZN provincial level, having (for now anyhow, and probably permanently) lost his place at the National level.
£5 each way says that this will be accommodated, until the National or Provincial Government can no longer tolerate it, or popular Zulu sentiment sees/perceives that the succession, reputation or status of its monarchy may be in serious jeopardy.
23rd May 2005Michael Boyle

Thanks, that a good 'nut shell' but one I'm glad I don't have to crack! Can't begin to reckon which the best course might be. It does seem somehow similiar to the King Cetswayo/Shepstone situation in the 1870s though. (Ironically enough.)


23rd May 2005Peter Quanrtill
In reality the ANC is doing exactly what Sir Garnet did, namely to split the Zulu Kingdom. Yesterday IFP Leader Mangosutho Buthelezi called for an imbizo, to which 7,000 people responded. King Goodwill was conspicous by his absence, and one senses that he is now dancing to the tune of his new paymaster, the ANC.
The South African Communist Party was critical of Buthelezi, saying that he was trying to take KwaZulu Natal back into homeland tribalism. Several resolutions were passed at the imbizo, including the establishment of a Zulu Kingdom with its own flag.The IFP leader said it was time for the Zulus to stand up and defend their 'Zuluness.' The ANC called the imbizo an IFP one, not representative of the Zulu Nation.
The lines seem to be drawn, with the monarch siding with the ANC.
All this in no way effects AMAFA. In fact on that front the news is good.Their staff compliment has been increased as has their budget.A very substantial project mamagement budget has recently been approved with one particular project being allocated 50 million Rand.The confidentiality of the source of this information precludes me from expanding on its nature. Whatever the politics, the ANC is not neglecting our heritage.
23rd May 2005Mike McCabe
Amafa deserves every encouragement; having an exceptionally difficult job to do in complex circumstances with money being tight. If the ANC led KZN provincial administration can find ways to depoliticise policymaking towards the current legacy of heritage sites - and enable new ones reflecting a broader cultural base to be developed (such as at Port Durnford) - then that would be very encouraging. But, some sort of prioritisation of resources is inevitable, and it might be time for a renewal of volunteer effort to ta
23rd May 2005Mike McCabe
take a carefully selected lead at some sites. A good example would be St Vincent's (Memorial) Church at Isandlwana, where I know that there are aspirations to restore and repair the Church. Fund raising could be relied upon, but lack of a project management structure is the current stumbling block. I wonder if this discussion forum is now a good place to explore possible solutions.
6th June 2005Peter Ewart
Mike & Peter

Belated but very sincere thanks for the above assistance. I just didn't get a chance to follow up before going away recently. Several points were cleared up by reading these posts. I try to keep abreast of these matters (KZN politics) and also endeavour to place them in context (from the demise of Dinizulu's position, through his descendants and the changing role of the kings constitionally before and during the official apartheid years) but I was quite taken aback to read Buthelezi's actual words.

Very many thanks again.