Political leaders and pundits are concerned about the Zulu king’s increasing political meddling and comments on emotive issues. SA is a constitutional democracy in which political parties contest political power and traditional leaders are respected as figureheads in some communities. King Goodwill Zwelithini is a figurehead of the KwaZulu-Natal government and is generally accorded the responsibility and respect of opening the legislature every year and other roles that are not political. However, in recent times, the Zulu king has made explosive comments on political issues. He kicked off this week by holding a rally in Durban on Sunday when he issued threats to politicians and political parties. Anyone seeking the Zulu vote in the 2019 general election must come and kneel before him, he said.

On Tuesday, he warmed up to right-wing political organisation AfriForum, meeting a delegation led by its CEO, Kallie Kriel. The king is sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust which control...

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