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Zulu King backs Mthwakazi activist

by Staff reporter
14 Oct 2018 at 10:05hrs | Views
South Africa's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini recently sent a delegation to Bulawayo to "meet and thank" a local human rights activist who has been campaigning for the revival of the Mthwakazi Republic.

A number of chiefs numbering no less than 15 from the neighbouring country who were part of the king's delegation met Patricia Tshabalala, the activist, where a "thank-you" ceremony was also held at her Mpopoma high-density suburb house last Saturday.

Tshabalala has been vocal in campaigning for the revival of the Mthwakazi state.

"I am humbled by the visit, and the fact that they were sent by King Zwelithini. I have been steadfast and unyielding in my stance on the Mthwakazi state and to then learn that the king is recognising my efforts is humbling," said Tshabalala in an interview.

"They were in the country with a message that the king had sent them to pass his ‘thank-you' message, and not only that, I have also been invited by the king to visit KwaZulu-Natal for one-on-one talks on the Mthwakazi issue. It is my first time to be recognised for my activism on the Mthwakazi issue."

Some of the chiefs who were part of the delegation included Ndwandwe from Gauteng, Isaac Gumede, Ngobese, Buthelezi, Mkwananzi, Mcwango, Zondo, Mthethwa, Xhabaza, Mbatha, Vilakazi and Mvelasi all from South Africa

South Africa-based Albert Khumalo Gumede, who was in 2014 chosen as a chief of the "Mthwakazi Republic", which is associated with secessionist groups in Matabeleland, also confirmed the development.

He also attended the ceremony at Tshabalala's house.

"They were here to see and thank MaTshabalala for her unwavering stance on the issue of the Mthwakazi Republic. The message they had was that the king is humbled by her activism on the issue, and would therefore like to meet her to personally acknowledge her efforts," Gumede said in a telephone interview, adding Tshabalala's visit to meet the Zulu King was tentatively slated for March 2019.

A number of chiefs from South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal attended Gumede's coronation ceremony in 2014.

There were reports that Gumede had received the blessings of King Zwelithini.

However, the move was criticised by descendants of the last Ndebele king, Lobengula, who argued Gumede was not from the royal family.

There have been several claimants to the throne, with the issue even spilling to the High Court of Zimbabwe.
Government has described any attempt to install a Ndebele king as not only illegal, but unconstitutional.

The High Court upheld government's decision though proponents of the Ndebele monarchy argue this is a cultural and traditional issue not needing any government or High Court sanction.

Source - the standard