The Zulu king’s office has threatened to take legal action against any political party that uses photos of Zulu kings in their election campaigns.
On Monday, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was forced to retract a poster with a picture of new Zulu king Misuzulu ka-Zwelithini.
The poster read: “We partner with traditional leaders by recognising just how vital traditional leaders are, and how important it is to support and resource amakhosi, so that they can execute their functions of ensuring that communities’ needs are met and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”
The IFP later said the picture of the Zulu king had been used in error.
Zulu King never used to advance political ideology
Spokesperson for the Zulu Royal House, Prince Thulani Zulu, said the Zulu king has never been used to advance political ideology.
“The office of the king wishes to state categorically clear that from time immemorial the Zulu king has never been used to advance political ideology. His office humbly appeals to all political parties to refrain from using photos of the Kings, or any other royalty related images, in the election campaigns. The king has always been above politics. This is a warning to all political parties, otherwise, this office might have to seek legal advice on this matter,” said Zulu, according to SABC.
In September, the African National Congress (ANC) and the IFP were involved in a spat over the Zulu royal family.
The IFP accused the ANC of displaying “offensive behaviour” towards the royal family.
“Proposals have been tabled by the ANC in the Rules’ Committee of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature to scrap the guard of honour which salutes the king, and to compress the two-day opening ceremony of the legislature by discarding the day specifically set aside for the king’s address. The intention is to combine the king’s and the premier’s speeches. This shows utter disdain towards His Majesty,” said the IFP.
The KZN provincial government responded by calling the statement a “desperate and unprincipled attempt by the IFP to exploit the current challenges in the Zulu royal household for political gain.”
On Monday, the IFP used another poster to take a dig at the Democratic Alliance (DA). Responding to the DA’s controversial election posters in Phoenix, former IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the real heroes of Phoenix were the people who worked to unite and restore peace.
The DA came under fire after it put up posters in Phoenix which read: “The ANC called you racists” and “The DA calls you heroes”.
“The focus needs to shift away from the few to the many who are working to save South Africa. The debate needs to change. The dichotomy between racists and heroes is wrong,” said Buthelezi.
“Heroes are not people who take the law into their own hands. Real heroes unite communities. Real heroes restore peace. And within the communities of Phoenix, KwaMashu, Chatsworth, Bambhai and elsewhere, there are millions of real heroes.”
Compiled by Gareth Cotterell