South Africa, Durban – The Zulu was addressing women at the Mercy and Peace Foundation for Women and Child abuse held at Elangeni hotel yesterday.
He said people of different races fought apartheid but under democracy women and girls feared visiting neighbours and relatives. He pleaded with men to stop the scourge and start protecting their families.
He said there was always an outcry because the heinous crime was on the rise with men neglecting their family duties. His majesty said after listening to the testimonies from the victims his heart sank.
He asked what kind of a man kills his wife, cut children into pieces – before taking his own life? He said culprits who commit suicide after killing women and children will never see God and their ancestors. He said Zulus used to have a lot of respect for women.
“Women must be ensured that I will protect them until the last drop of my blood. We need everyone from all race groups to join hands. I feel bad because police are hard at work but criminals are released back to the public to continue with such crimes.
GBV did not start today, it comes from a long way. It is the worse form of human abuse. We need to put aside our differences to fight GBV.
We also need to move away from tolerating each other to accepting each other as brothers and sisters,” said the king.
His majesty complained that his hands were tied due to the laws governing the country. He said his Zulu warriors could stop this nonsense if given a chance.
The king said previously an ill-disciplined man was punished severely to stop misbehaving. He also blamed the killing of farmers in the kingdom.
“GBV has caused me greater shame, in my twilight years of ruling the kingdom. We are living with monsters among us. They are monsters because a real man won’t commit heinous deeds but would love and protect women and children,” he said.
GBV victim Ntombi Ndlela said she endured 12 years of domestic violence until her husband was arrested for killing their two children. She said her husband was an angry person because he was raped by a relative (woman) when he was young.
Ndlela said she did everything to help her husband but still, her marriage collapsed. She said their families did not believe that their son was abusive towards her and their children until one day she found her daughter, 3, and boy, 7, hanging from the roof inside the house. “I am still trying to heal from the scars.
When the police took him away I asked him why he killed his own children – he only apologised for causing me the pain,” she said.
Sheik Walid El Saadi of the Muslim World League, which hosted the king, said he was grateful for his presence and support.
The king was accompanied by Queen Thandi of Linduzulu Palace (Thandekile Jane Ndlovu) and KZN House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza.