Desperate politicians charm kings and amakhosi

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By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

Kings and amakhosi across the country are receiving gifts of cattle and even multimillion-rand vehicles from politicians trying to buy their power and influence.

It’s election season.

President Cyril Ramaphosa presented Inkosi Shozi in KwaZulu-Natal with a Nguni cow this week. Inkosi Shozi then presented the president with a cow and endorsed the ANC as the party to vote for in the 29 May elections.

At this point, Ramaphosa promised to deliver an Ankole cow from his Limpopo farm, which sell for between R200,000 and R1-million.

Before this Ramaphosa has presented other amakhosi with cattle, while the ANC government has presented King Misuzulu kaZwelithini with cattle and the latest Range Rover.

With the elections approaching, politicians desperate to get the rural vote have turned their attention to traditional leaders who still rule over some 19 million people in villages across the country.

Even though every part of South Africa has been formalised under the 257 municipalities, a large section of the population remains loyal to amakhosi and kings.

The country has 14 kings and almost 900 amakhosi who wield a lot of influence over many communities.

Rural residents often vote based on traditional loyalties, and amakhosi are often seen as the custodians of these group loyalties.

Jacob Zuma’s Umkhonto Wesizwe party has promised to return all the land to amakhosi control and include them in lawmaking in South Africa.

“We want them to rule their land. The government should not be above everyone. It should govern on behalf of us, the owners of the land, led by traditional leaders,” said Zuma.

Thami Ntuli, the IFP premier candidate in KwaZulu-Natal and provincial chairperson of the SA Local Government Association, has called for the affirmation of traditional leaders as custodians of development.

And Julius Malema’s EFF once shocked the nation when it presented a Mercedes-Benz GLE as a gift for AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

Pictured above: They come bearing gifts… President Cyril Ramaphosa with Inkosi Shozi and his smiling entourage.

Source: X

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