A DESCENDANT of Ndebele King Lobengula Prince Zwide Khumalo has defended Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini saying he is not to blame for the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
NQOBANI NDLOVU/LUYANDUHLOBO MAKWATI
Khumalo told journalists on Thursday that the media fuelled the anti-foreigner sentiments in the neighbouring country, leading to the death of at least seven people and displacement of thousands.
King Zwelithini has been accused of sparking the attacks that were more pronounced in KwaZulu Natal after he told a public meeting that foreigners should go back to their countries.
Khumalo, who is at the forefront of reviving the Ndebele kingdom, said he was inclined to believe the king’s defence that he was misquoted by the media.
“King Zwelithini has said that he was misquoted and I believe that the media was irresponsible in their reporting,” he said. “For all that I know, the king never said beat or murder foreigners, but the media has been quick to say that the xenophobic attacks were fuelled by his sentiments.”
Khumalo said instead of investigating the reasons behind the xenophobic attacks to ensure the continent lives in harmony, the media had fuelled hatred.
“I believe the media has strongly created a bad impression about our African brothers. Instead, it should come up with stories that would provide solutions to African problems, which will result in Africans living in peace and harmony as it is espoused in the pan-African ideologies,” he added.
“We need to know that we are all equal regardless of our ethnicity and places of origin because all of us we have migrated from various places,” he added.
Khumalo said uncontrolled social media activity had made the situation worse by sowing seeds of hatred among tribes in Zimbabwe and beyond.
He was referring to messages circulating on the WhatsApp platform urging people from Matabeleland to attack fellow countrymen from Mashonaland.
“Such statements are not good. All of us are equal and we need to make sure that we live as one,” Khumalo said.
“These messages on social media can cause civil unrest in many parts of southern Africa because of falsehoods that are peddled through social media and other mainstream publications and broadcasting services.”
Zimbabwe has repatriated 737 people who were displaced by the xenophobic attacks.