JOHANNESBURG: Mr Ramaphosa classified the unrest in the country as ethnic mobilisation.
The Zulu nation prime minister prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa for his defamatory remarks about Zulu people.
Mr Buthelezi said he was confused by the president’s statements, made during his weekend address to the nation. Mr Ramaphosa classified the unrest in the country as ethnic mobilisation.
Mr Buthelezi said that if the riots were done by former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters, it was not true that the Zulu people were behind them.
There were growing accusations, including on social media, from some accusing Zulu people in hostels across Johannesburg, with the aid of a former popular Ukhozi FM DJ, Mr Ngizwe Mchunu of destabilising the city.
Mr Zuma through his foundation, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said it would approach the Human Rights Commission about the president’s inflammatory statements.
“I don’t understand what is meant by ethnic mobilisation. It’s not about Zulu people against other people, even in the case where they mobilised support for our former president Zuma.
“Mr Ace Magashule is not a Zulu and the leaders of Mpumalanga (who) came down here… were not necessarily Zulu. This has nothing to do with Zulus, so I don’t what is meant by ethnic mobilisation in what is happening now,” Mr Buthelezi said.
The former IFP leader said the Zulu king had informed him that the royal house would like to address the Zulu people following the recent events in the country.
“He said he would like to address the nation, specifically the Zulu people, because of what is going on in KZN. This is wrong to say that this comes from ethnic mobilisation. Indeed, Mr Zuma is Zulu but those that support him came from other provinces as well.”
Mr Buthelezi said South Africa was at war with itself and needed political leadership. He appealed to communities to protect property and infrastructure.
Dozens dead in riots as Ramaphosa denounce it as ethnic mobilisation
The death toll from rioting in South Africa rose to 72 on Tuesday, the Government has confirmed, including 10 people trampled to death during looting at a mall, as police and the military fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to try to halt the unrest set off by the imprisonment last week of Mr Zuma.
Hundreds have been arrested in the lawlessness that has raged in poor areas of two provinces, where a community radio station was ransacked and forced off the air Tuesday and some COVID-19 vaccination centers were closed, disrupting urgently needed inoculations.
Many of the deaths in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces occurred in chaotic stampedes as thousands of people stole food, electric appliances, liquor and clothing from stores, officials said.
The violence broke out after Mr Zuma began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court on Thursday. He had refused to comply with a court order to testify at a state-backed inquiry investigating allegations of corruption while he was president from 2009 to 2018.
The unrest spiraled into a spree of looting in township areas of the two provinces, although it has not spread to South Africa’s other seven provinces, where police are on alert.