Human Rights Commission clears King Goodwill Zwelithini of hate speech

WATCH: Human Rights Commission clears King Goodwill Zwelithini of hate speech

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has this morning found that while Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's comments about foreigners were hurtful and harmful, they did not amount to hate speech.


The King made the inflammatory comments during a speech at a moral regeneration event in Pongola‚ in northern KwaZulu-Natal, in March last year.

In his speech, the Zulu monarch made numerous derogatory remarks about foreigners, saying they "should go back to their home countries because they are changing the nature of South African society with their amanikiniki or goods, and enjoying wealth that should have been for local people."

The comments sparked outrage across the country. 31 complaints were received by the commission following the speech. 

The complainants alleged that King Zwelithini's remarks incited violence against foreigners in KZN, which later spread to the Gauteng province - leaving seven people dead.

The commission concluded its preliminary investigations into the monarch's comments in November last year.  

Delivering the commission's findings today, chairperson of the SAHRC, Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, chastized the King for his comments. But he said they had found no causal link between what the monarch had said, and the subsequent xenophobia attacks.

Video by JacarandaFM News

See also: SAHRC trying to discredit Zulu King: ANCYL

Zwelithini has since changed his tune with regard to foreign nationals living in the country.

At a King Shaka Day celebration in Durban last week, the King called for unity amongst all citizens.

"As a nation, we should live in peace with our fellow citizens. Zulus believe in values that are hardly surpassed by any other nation. They believe in collective responsibility, communalism, empathy, integrity, hospitality, humanness, respect for others and what history has taught us," he said. 

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