Zulus demand 100 cows from Duma

Siboniso Duma, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson and MEC for KZN Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs could be fined 100 cows for “disrespecting” the Zulu king.

Siboniso Duma, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson and MEC for KZN Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs could be fined 100 cows for “disrespecting” the Zulu king.

Published Mar 20, 2024


Durban — Zulu royal regiments have suggested that KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Siboniso Duma pay 100 cows as an apology to King Misuzulu for “disrespecting” His Majesty during the 110th commemoration of King Dinuzulu’s death.

Duma, who is also the ANC chairperson in the province, was still the talk of the town following his action on Saturday, when he grabbed a microphone from the king’s Traditional Prime Minister, Rev Thulasizwe Buthelezi, who was introducing the king before he delivered his main address.

Buthelezi, who is also Zululand District mayor under the IFP, was about to speak about the ANC KZN secretary Bheki Mtolo when Duma interrupted. Many construed his actions as disrespectful not only to the traditional prime minister but to the king, who appointed Buthelezi.

Duma received a backlash from many quarters, particularly African culturists who described his behaviour as unAfrican.

Zulu Traditional Prime Minister Thulasizwe Buthelezi was humiliated by ANC KZN chairperson Siboniso Duma. Picture: Facebook

At a media briefing attended by several regional regiments’ commanders in Durban on Tuesday, the deputy provincial regiments commander, headman Sipho Mhlongo, called on Duma to apologise to the king and said he could expect to be fined about 100 head of cattle.

Mhlongo said Duma’s behaviour was shameful and disrespectful to the king and the president of the country, who was also at the event, and pardon would not come cheap.

“We are calling on Duma to go and tender his apology but he must know that an apology to the king could come with 100 cows depending on the severity of the damage,” he said.

Speaking on Ukhozi FM on Monday, Mtolo announced that Duma had already apologised for “dealing with the culprit” Thulasizwe Buthelezi in front of the king and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He added that the apology was specifically to the king and the president not to Buthelezi since Duma was not wrong in what he did to him.

Mtolo said the ANC would take Duma to the king to tender his apology for disciplining Buthelezi in front of the king. The ANC was expected to give further details about the trip to the king in its media briefing on Wednesday.

Amabutho also expressed their disappointment that Duma and the provincial government did not recognise the traditional prime minister’s position, saying that this was also disrespectful to the king who appointed Buthelezi.

King Misuzulu could fine ANC KZN chairperson Siboniso Duma 100 cows for grabbing a microphone from his traditional prime minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal provincial government

In a series of interviews on Monday, Duma said the provincial government and the ANC did not recognise the traditional prime minister’s position since it was not in the country’s Constitution.

Amabutho leaders also distanced the warriors from the violence that took place after the Duma-Buthelezi drama. Those who were injured, many of whom were allegedly wearing ANC T-shirts, were rushed to hospitals and local clinics with stab wounds.

It was believed that they were attacked by amabutho who were angered by Duma’s action.

Mhlongo apologised to the victims and their families and vowed that amabutho would hunt down the culprits and discipline them. He said the amabutho leadership would take the culprits to the victims to tender their apologies and make peace. He said the culprits would be handed over to the police.

The late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who was traditional prime minister, unsuccessfully tried to push for the recognition of the position in the KwaZulu-Natal Traditional Framework Act No5 of 2005 when it was being debated. The ANC, which took power from the IFP in 2004, rejected the proposal.

Meanwhile, amabutho also warned cultural expert Professor Musa Xulu to refrain from speaking ill about the king.

Hitting back, Xulu who heads socio-cultural organisation Indonsa, said he was an analyst and expert in Zulu cultural heritage, which he studied to doctoral level, and he analysed issues at stake, not personalities.

“My role in society is to educate by sharing researched knowledge to the benefit of the public. It would be unfortunate if izinduna identify their role as being that of telling intellectuals how to analyse and create knowledge,” he said.

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