DURBAN. — King Goodwill Zwelithini wants the British royal family to pay the Zulu kingdom for destroying his great-grandfather’s palace in 1879, a report said on Wednesday.
Zwelithini said he didn’t harbour any animosity towards the “English emperor” but said it would be “nice if the English kingdom would one day compensate us”, reported The Mercury newspaper.
The Zulu royal was speaking at the sod-turning of the new Sandlwana Heritage Project in Dundee.
The project sees the unveiling of a multi-million rand cultural village, News24 reported on Monday.
“This has always been a dream of his, the king has always wanted something like this,” said Zwelithini’s spokesperson, Prince Thulani Zulu, adding that the village would benefit the Zulu nation and other South Africans in reminding them what happened during the Battle of Isandlwana.
The Battle of Isandlwana took place on January 22 1879. The British Army was defeated when about 24 000 Zulu warriors reportedly attacked a British camp of about 1 700 near Isandlwana Mountain. It is reported that 1 300 of the British forces were killed.
Zwelithini’s great-grandfather King Cetshwayo’s Ondini Palace was set on fire by the British army on July 4 1879.
Zwelithini said it should be understood “that I am an enemy with them [the British]”.
In March, the king came under fire for comments that were seen as xenophobic.
The king had been a guest of Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko at a meeting on moral regeneration on March 15 when, according to Isolezwe, he is alleged to have said in Zulu: “We urge all foreigners to pack their bags and leave.”
Soon after, a wave of xenophobic attacks swept KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
But the Royal Household Trust later defended Zwelithini, claiming his meaning was lost in translation, The Witness reported. — News24.