The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature says the timing of a recent handover of five SUV vehicles to the royal family smacked of “grandstanding”.
In a statement on Sunday, IFP Caucus spokesperson for safety and community liaison in the legislature Blessed Gwala “warns the ANC to cease trying to reclaim the trust of the people of KZN through frivolous actions related to the Zulu royal household”.
“Premier Sihle Zikalala is trying very hard to have his bread buttered on both sides, using the handover of five SUV vehicles to King Zwelithini’s kaBhekuzulu queens as a publicity stunt. As the IFP, we applaud the vehicle handover, but must question the timing.
“It is shameful of the premier to grandstand about this, and to act as if the vehicles were Christmas gifts.”
Gwala said the premier was aware that the handover was long overdue and had been approved before the deaths of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaNyangayeziwe and Queen Mantfombi Shiyiwe earlier this year. However, he said this didn’t occur and the handover was put on hold.
“Further, the premier should answer to the people of KZN about what he plans to do with the late queen’s vehicle, as her palace, Khangelamankengane, did not receive it, despite the vehicle already being purchased. We view this action as a way of ignoring Khangelamankengane Palace and would like to hear what the reasons are for this.”
Gwala said the premier was creating the impression of supporting traditional leadership structures but in reality this was not supported by policy as the National Development Plan 2030 is “silent about traditional leadership, especially the mighty Zulu royalty”.
The IFP asked that the people of KwaZulu-Natal not fall prey to the “ANC’s self-glorification-seeking theatrical gimmicks, intended to divide the Zulu royal household”.
During the handover in Ulundi, Zikalala said the process was disrupted by the pandemic and then later to allow the royal household to go through the mourning process.
Zikalala emphasised that the purchase was in line with policy that “for political office bearers you don’t buy a car that costs more than R800,000 and therefore each of the cars here are below that amount”.