The Inkatha Freedom Party has come out in defence of King Goodwill Zwelithini, and condemned Julius Malema for comments targeting the Zulu monarch.
On Sunday, 18 March, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), at its Extended National Council, endorsed an earlier statement by the party’s National Chairperson, Blessed Gwala.
In the 13th March statement, Gwala blasted the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, saying, “with utter carelessness, Mr Malema announced that Government should take over the land held by the Ingonyama Trust.”
Gwala was referring to comments made by Malema at a press conference on Thursday, 8 March, in which he said “Let us not talk war‚ let us not beat war drums here. Let us come up with superior argument on why it should not be done like that.”
At the press conference, Malema also expressed that he was not fearful of the King, saying “there are no holy cows in this country. We must debate issues openly‚ including disagreeing with the Zulu king. The Zulu king must call for engagement with regards to the land. He must be respected‚ he must not be feared. I don’t fear anyone‚ no one. I only fear God.”
Despite his comments, Malema said his party as part of the ongoing processes in Parliament related to the expropriation of land without compensation, is “particularly willing to meet and engage with King Goodwill Zwelithini‚ the Ingonyama Trust and all traditional leadership establishments and bodies that have interest in the constitutional and policy issues that relate to land ownership‚ control and redistribution.”
However, Gwala and the IFP believe that Malema’s comments are “are a slap in the face to the Zulu Nation. In the present circumstances, when the issue of land and the Ingonyama Trust is so sensitive, his words are nothing less than incendiary.”
The IFP says Malema “is clearly not concerned about the facts. Had he wanted to understand why the Trust was established, he could have asked the author of the Trust, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. After all, they sit next to each other in Parliament, and their two parties work together in several municipalities.”