The official king of South Africa’s Zulu tribe has announced that that country was economically, militarily, and socially better under white Afrikaner rule—and that history will judge blacks as only having destroyed everything that they had inherited from the white government.
King Goodwill Zwelithini, who has been Zulu king since December 1971, made the remarks during a speech at an official royal household event in Nongoma, located in the northeastern part of the eastern seaboard province of KwaZulu-Natal, over the past weekend.
The event, held to mark his forty-fourth year on the Zulu throne, was reported on by the Natal Mercury newspaper.
King Zwelithini said the former white rulers of South Africa had “built a powerful government with the strongest economy and army on the continent.”
He went on to say that the white government had “a mighty army, and that the South African currency and economy had shot up” under the National Party government.
“But then,” he continued, “came this so-called democracy in which black people are destroying the gains of the past. The economy that we are now burning down.”
Addressing himself directly to black people, King Zwelethini said that “you do not want to build on what you had inherited. You are going to find yourselves on the wrong side of history.”
“History will judge black people harshly as they have failed to build on the successes of the Afrikaners,” he said, before continuing to explain that “black people loved to use matches to burn down infrastructure” built by the white government.
Below: Three photographs taken on December 7, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The country’s largest city is in the midst of a municipal workers’ strike, and part of their “protest” action consists of throwing the city’s trash into the streets.
King Zwelithini said that “people on the ground did not appreciate the infrastructure” which they had inherited from the white rulers, even though the ANC leaders themselves governed from the very buildings which the whites had created.
Referring specifically to the Union Buildings in Pretoria and the South African Parliament in Cape Town, King Zwelithini said that he was “surprised that all presidents who have been elected in this so-called democracy, occupy apartheid buildings.”
“But you on the ground, are burning everything that you found here. . . you don’t want to use them (buildings), you say this is apartheid infrastructure,” he said.
Finally, he informed his audience that he “feels lucky that I was born the same year the National Party came to power, in 1948. The Afrikaners respected me. I don’t know how it happened that the Afrikaners respect me so much.”
He also mentioned that at one of his palaces in Nongoma, he still had all the medals which the white government had awarded to his “kingdom,” marking out historical events and achievements of the Zulu people.
King Zwelithini’s comments come after a falling out with the ANC government—which he previously supported—over the reorganization and funding of his royal household.