Sunday Times

Only a colonised mind would criticise African traditions

- Mmeshi Kgaphola, Kempton Park

William Gumede, in “Death of a king is a chance to modernise these monarchies” (March 21), calls for the abolition of the traditiona­l system of government. How ironic that this call is made by an African on Sharpevill­e Day (so-called Human Rights Day).

Even the compromise constituti­on recognises indigenous law and African traditiona­l systems, but here we have an African calling for the abolition of these systems.

Steve Biko was right — colonise the mind of an African and you destroy the nation. This is what the colonisers have managed to do to Africa and its people, hence we have people like Gumede attacking their own.

A so-called intellectu­al like Gumede should be first to defend our African heritage and systems. Or is it a case of seeking acceptance from the colonial master? So many Africans behave as if the white master is still in charge of their lives.

Come on, Gumede, African people have a right to believe and support their traditiona­l systems just like the Europeans do.

I’m sure Gumede is one of those who cried over the death of Princess Diana and would not dare call for the abolition of the British monarchy.

Bonga Mthembu, Cape Town

Hereditary succession is important in the Zulu nation because of the history of Shaka and colonial wars waged and won by Zulu warriors under the leadership of King Cetshwayo. Democratic election of a king may not guarantee stability in that people may conspire to outvote the king in order to ascend into the throne.

A democratic system does not always reflect the will of the people. In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been at the helm for many years despite allegation­s of vote rigging. A dynastic style of leadership reduces conflicts that may arise out of democratic anomalies.

The state must continue to fund the monarch to discourage the habit of extorting money from poor local residents.

Gumede is correct in his assertion that there must be checks and balances in the budget allocated to the king to prevent waste. Since apartheid and colonialis­m dispossess­ed us of our land, cattle and mineral resources, the only treasure we are left with is monarchy.

Lindani Ngcobo, Bellair

Over in the UK, they love the queen

Let’s face it, the Sussex–Winfrey interview that was billed by the press as the biggest crisis since the death of Princess Diana has turned into a gigantic flop. The interview carried a $7m (about R105m) price tag. What a waste of money.

First, the interview lacked authentici­ty and facts — mere spurious allegation­s, unsubstant­iated claims and unmitigate­d speculatio­n. No proof whatsoever. It was only an effort to discredit the monarchy, and to wallow in self-pity. Hypocrisy and self-interest took centre stage.

A YouGov poll has revealed that 47% of British viewers found the interview inappropri­ate. It also shows that Harry’s popularity has dropped from 53% to 44%. A large proportion of Brits view him negatively. Meghan’s negative rating went up from 53% to 58%. Over-65s overwhelmi­ngly dislike both.

The monarchy, popular in Britain, will not suffer from the interview. The Brits don’t like the queen to be insulted, especially by highly privileged persons throwing a public tantrum.

Harry and Meghan have railed against the constant media attention but they court it. They don’t want to be in the spotlight but choose to stay in California, the centre of showbiz. If they’re so against the monarchy, why do they keep the titles, and not become just plain Harry and Meghan Markle? She, by the way, wears the pants.

I agree with Piers Morgan that the “interview was utterly ridiculous from start to finish”. Will Harry regret his harsh decision? Only time will tell.

JR Whitlock, Germiston

ZCC picture was wrong choice

I write to lodge a complaint about the article “Don’t let Easter sweep SA into deadly third wave” (March 21) by columnist Wendy Tlou.

It was accompanie­d by a picture of Zion Christian Church (ZCC) male worshipper­s, though the writer was emphasisin­g the dangers of social and religious gatherings across all aspects of life.

The ZCC has dutifully closed all its churches, including the headquarte­rs in Moria, since implementa­tion of the lockdown on March 26 2020. It has remained closed even after the easing of lockdown restrictio­ns, while other mainstream churches, religious and social gatherings have resumed under level 1.

In fact, the ZCC has remained discipline­d, followed the strict lockdown rules and never even joined a campaign by other religious groups lobbying for their institutio­ns to be reopened.

Therefore, the depiction of ZCC worshipper­s in the picture is mischievou­sly sensationa­l, deliberate­ly provocativ­e, deplorable, reckless, callous and misleading as it seems to be intended to desperatel­y portray the ZCC as the main enabler for the pandemic to thrive.

The attempt to blame the ZCC for the deadly disease spreading is racist as it perpetuate­s the backward mentality that a black-owned spiritual institutio­n of the ZCC’s calibre can only be associated with mediocrity and lawlessnes­s.

The Sunday Times needs to render a public, unreserved apology to the ZCC for the misleading way its worshipper­s were portrayed.

Write to PO Box 1742, Saxonwold 2132; SMS 33662; e-mail: tellus@sundaytime­s.co.za; Fax: 011 280 5150 All mail should be accompanie­d by a street address and daytime telephone number. The Editor reserves the right to cut letters

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