FORMER Chronicle journalist and author of the book, Rule by Conquest: The Struggle in Mthwakazi, Jonathan Maphenduka, has accused the media of misinterpreting his work reporting that he was calling for the restoration of the Ndebele Kingdom.
BY SILAS NKALA
In a letter written to Southern Eye, Maphenduka said his book has been interpreted wrongly.
“Nowhere in the narrative does the author call for the restoration of the Ndebele Kingdom. But the book places emphasis on the restoration of Mthwakazi State to be a republic,” Maphenduka said.
He said the public would recognise not just one monarchy, but all others that may deserve such recognition from the Kalanga, Sotho-Venda, Karanga and appropriate ethnic groups.
“For instance, there would be a Mambo royal family and potentially others all of whom would be given equal recognition.
“The nation of Mthwakazi was a homogenous State and the book calls for the restoration of the homogeneity of tribes, with the Ndebele (Nguni stock) part of that entity. There are people who choose to associate that State with what in 1894, became Matabeleland, but a map of Mthwakazi rebuts that inclusion,”he wrote in the letter.
Maphenduka was responding to a Monday report in the paper titled, Fresh calls for Mthwakazi nation revival, written by the Voice of America, an America-based radio station.
“At no time during my interview with the Voice of America reporter, or my short speech that preceded it, did I mention or allude to the Ndebele Kingdom.
“The reporter abused a privilege which was given in good faith, to twist the whole thing to suit his aim to array the Voice of America radio station against the book and the people of Mthwakazi.
“I have responded sufficiently to what Dr Samukele Hadebe had to say in his critique of the book and I have no intention of engaging yet in another war of words in this regard. It is clear that the reporter, by his own admission, is a member of a tribe in the ‘Axis of Tribalism’ for which Hadebe offered spirited defence.”
Maphenduka said it was not necessary in his view to refer to what he had to say, unless the reporter wanted to demonstrate his reaction to Hadebe’s view.
“This is an emotional pit into which reporters have been known to allow themselves to fall,” he added. “To axe-grinders of the Gukurahundi genocidal ethnic-cleansing are conjuncture, not fact.”