For­mer par­lia­men­tar­ian vows to fight for equal rights for other kings

Cape Times - - NEWS - Bon­gani Hans

ANC’s out­go­ing MP Set­lam­or­ago God­frey Thobe­jane has ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of dis­crim­i­nat­ing against six kings in the coun­try by giv­ing them lesser treat­ment to that af­forded their coun­ter­part King Good­will Zwelithini, who is the only one al­lo­cated an an­nual bud­get.

Thobe­jane, who re­cently re­signed from par­lia­ment due to his un­hap­pi­ness with the way gov­ern­ment han­dles cer­tain is­sues, said he would now use his po­si­tion as the pres­i­dent of the Congress of Tra­di­tional Lead­ers of SA (Con­tralesa) to fight for the equal treat­ment of all seven kings.

The tra­di­tional leader of Lim­popo prov­ince said he was sup­port­ive of the Zulu King get­ting the bud­get.

“We want the rest of the kings to get that kind of bud­get, and once all of them re­ceive it we would then start fight­ing to in­crease the bud­get of our kings in South Africa,” he said.

Thobe­jane, who was re­ported to be criss-cross­ing the coun­try, lob­by­ing other tra­di­tional lead­ers to start their own po­lit­i­cal party, told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia that he had not re­signed from the ANC.

“We are un­able to speak about in­cre­ment while we are strug­gling to say we want all of them to get the bud­get.”

He said se­nior tra­di­tional lead­ers, amakhosi, should also be al­lo­cated the bud­get to help their tra­di­tional coun­cils to func­tion. Ac­cord­ing to 2014’s re­mu­ner­a­tion rates for tra­di­tional lead­ers each of the seven kings gets R1.03 mil­lion a year, R188 424 for amakhosi and R79 364 for izin­duna.

“Our call is very clear, we are say­ing even the se­nior tra­di­tional lead­ers’ coun­cil should be al­lo­cated the bud­get. We want the rest to get the al­lo­ca­tion.”

When asked if the gov­ern­ment would sus­tain the bud­gets for all seven kings, Thobe­jane said: “Our pres­i­dent started it and he must fin­ish it.

“You can’t do left, and when you are sup­posed to do right you start telling us that it might not be sus­tain­able. Once you start some­thing you must fin­ish it, you don’t start and stop in be­tween.”

Thobe­jane re­jected ar­gu­ments that the na­tional gov­ern­ment should not be blamed for pri­ori­tis­ing the Zulu King, be­cause his bud­get was com­ing from the KwaZulu-Natal gov­ern­ment.

“We got one rev­enue col­lec­tion in South Africa, there is not KwaZulu-Natal rev­enue col­lec­tion. There is one, which is within the na­tional trea­sury,” he said.

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