I’m en­ti­tled to the tax of my sub­jects, says king

Bud­get goes up to R58.8m

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - ZI­MASA MATI­WANE

ZULU monarch King Good­will Zwelithini said he is en­ti­tled to the an­nual bud­get al­lo­cated to the royal house­hold, as it was de­rived from tax rev­enue paid by his sub­jects.

The king was speak­ing yes­ter­day at the in­au­gu­ral com­mem­o­ra­tion of the burn­ing of King Cetshwayo’s palace 138 years ago by Bri­tish forces in Ulundi.

Zwelithini also lashed out at the man­ner in which Zulu jour­nal­ists re­ported on the con­tro­ver­sial fi­nan­cial af­fairs of the royal house­hold, say­ing they needed to learn about their his­tory.

He said the is­sue should be looked at closely, ask­ing whether the royal house­hold was not en­ti­tled to Zulu tax money.

“Don’t Zu­lus pay tax, am I not sup­posed to get this tax from my sub­jects?” Zwelithini asked, to roar­ing ap­plause.

This year, the fi­nan­cial af­fairs of the royal house­hold once again took cen­tre stage when KwaZulu-Natal Premier Wil­lies Mchunu tabled his bud­get in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg leg­is­la­ture.

The king’s bud­get was in­creased this year to R58.8 mil­lion from R48.8m last year. But Zwelithini said the mil­lions in­jected into the royal house an­nu­ally were not his to use as he pleased.

“This king­dom is not new, the peo­ple who speak about the royal house­hold, par­tic­u­larly jour­nal­ists from the Zulu na­tion, must read more about their his­tory.

“They don’t un­der­stand how I live; I don’t live on that money, I work for my­self. That bud­get you see doesn’t help me at all,” he said.

“I don’t in­vest that money for my profit. They would never al­low that, be­cause they know I would gen­er­ate more money – money they don’t want me to have,” Zwelithini said.

He said the royal palaces were not lux­u­ri­ous, adding that the money was in­tended for gov­ern­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards the royal house­hold.

Ear­lier this year, Mchunu said R16.5m for the Royal House­hold Trust would cater for the re­mu­ner­a­tion of staff‚ seven board mem­bers‚ as well as the queen’s ex­penses, in­clud­ing travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The re­main­ing R42m would as­sist the king as he takes part in var­i­ous cer­e­monies and tra­di­tional func­tions across the coun­try.

He said the is­sue needed to be looked at, as the royal house­hold was le­git­i­mate, and had also been ap­proved by the Bri­tish.

“This com­mem­o­ra­tion em­anates from the Bat­tle of Isan­dl­wana where the forces of King Cetshwayo de­feated the Bri­tish army,” said the king.

Em­pha­sis­ing the need to re­mem­ber the his­toric event, Zwelithini took the op­por­tu­nity to re­mind the Zulu na­tion of their re­silience and the im­por­tance of know­ing their his­tory.

“I am here to re­mind you of the his­tory of King Cetshwayo. He did not stop fight­ing for the dig­nity of the Zulu na­tion.

“The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion should take pupils around to visit var­i­ous her­itage sites dur­ing school hol­i­days to teach them about our his­tory.”

The king also an­nounced that the burn­ing of Cetshwayo’s palace would now be com­mem­o­rated an­nu­ally on July 4.

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