Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini believes that his monarchy should be compensated by Queen Elizabeth II, for the destruction of the Ondini Palace by British troops in 1879.
IOL News reported that the British burnt down the royal homestead in Ulundi on July 4, 1879, following a defeat by King Cetshwayo’s regiments at Isandlwana earlier that year.
Zwelithini said: “It would be nice if the English kingdom would one day compensate us. It should be understood that I am an enemy with them.”
The king was speaking at a sod turning event of a new Isandlwana Heritage Village at Isandlwana, Dundee on Tuesday.
King Zwelithini will fulfill his dream of building a cultural village at Isandlwana – complete with a place for himself – using an estimated R30 million from national government and the National Lotteries Board.
The Battle of Isandlwana is commemorated on January 22. In 1879 the British Army was defeated when 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 force were killed.
“People think about Isandlwana and they think about the battle but the battle actually began at Ondini Palace. When King Cetshwayo was the commander and chief that time and this is where the preparations for the war were done, at his palace,” said Zwelithini’s spokesperson, Prince Thulani Zulu.
The project has received R12.5 million from the National Lotteries Board for phase one, which includes nine huts and the tenth for the king. The entire precinct will be the king’s palace.
Phase two will include a memorial park as well as a statue of King Cetshwayo, at an estimated cost of R25 million.
Gugu Ngcobo, CEO of KwaCulture, the non-profit organisation managing the heritage project, said the development was aimed at promoting Africans.
“The village is going to provide programmes that are going to address who we were during the pre-colonial times. It will have cultural camps for children, men, women and the youth.”
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.
Reporting with News24Wire