Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini praised the apartheid regime at an event in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
This is according to a report by Durban newspaper, The Mercury, which quoted the king criticising black South Africans for failing to build on the successes of the National Party, and rather choosing to burn down the infrastructure and gains made during those years.
According to Zwelithnini, under the National Party South Africa had a strong economy, with a strong rand, and managed to build a “mighty army”.
Zwelithini said that, while the National Party created anti-black laws, they had also always treated him with respect.
“The economy that we are now burning down. You do not want to build on what you had inherited. You are going to find yourselves on the wrong side of history,” he reportedly told followers at his kwaKhethomthandayo royal palace in Nongoma.
He said that while black South Africans on the streets continue to burn apartheid-era infrastructure to the ground, the ANC-lead government is perfectly happy to take up residency in them.
“You don’t want to use them (buildings), you say this is apartheid infrastructure. Your leaders are occupying buildings where apartheid laws were made to oppress you,” the king said.
“You on the ground are burning everything that you found here,” he said.
According to The Mercury, the comments from the king follows a number of anti-government sentiments expressed over the years as a result of a deteriorating relationship between Zwelithini and ANC leadership.
Despite his anti-government stance, Zwelithini still benefits greatly from government funds.
In its 2014/15 budget, the department received R54.2 million for the king, which was reportedly swallowed up within months, used to purchase new vehicles for the king’s eight wives.
The king then requested a further R10 million bailout from government, and was awarded R5 million.
In previous years, the Zulu King’s reach into taxpayers’ pockets extended beyond R60 million.
Zwelithini receives a salary of R1.03 million a year.