South Africa Abolishes Six Traditional Monarchies
South African President Jacob Zuma announced that six of the thirteen kingdoms in his country will be no more. He said Thursday that those monarchies were created during apartheid in order for those kings and queens to support the white-led government.
“The apartheid regime created its own traditional leadership at the expense of authentic leadership in some communities,” Zuma said.
“It was how those in charge divided and disunited people,” he said. “We urge all communities to accept the findings in the spirit of correcting the wrongs of the past, and as part of the country’s nation-building efforts.”
Those six kingdoms will end when their rulers die. They include: the central province of Free State’s Batlokwa ba Mota and the Bakwena baMopeli monarchies, the Eastern Cape’s AmaRharhabe and the Amampondo ase-Nyandeni, and the Ndzundza Mabhoko kingdom in the eastern Mpumalanga province. The kingdom of AbaThembu base-Rhode’s King already died, and so that monarchy will be ending shortly.
The Xhosa and Zulu Kingdoms will remain.
Source: AFP, AP
Queen Elizabeth II Welcomes Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, was officially welcomed to the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II earlier today. Zuma is on a three day state visit to the country, and was welcomed with pomp and circumstance.
The Queen greeted the President at Horse Guards Parade before a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace. There, Zuma shook hands with Prince Philip and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown will meet separately with the President later on.
At Buckingham, President Zuma presented Queen Elizabeth with a chess set. Problem was, when Her Majesty gave Zuma a tour of the Palace’s collection of South African gifts, he learned that the Queen already had a chess set, given to her by Nelson Mandela in 1995.
There will be a state banquet tonight in honor of the President, at Buckingham Palace where he is also staying overnight. He will also go to Clarence House to visit Prince Charles.
Norwegian King & Queen on State Visit to South Africa
Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja arrived in Pretoria, South Africa on Tuesday to begin a two day state visit to the country. With them are over 100 Norwegian business leaders, looking for opportunity investments.
Harald and Sonja were welcomed by President Jacob Zuma and his wife at the Union Buildings. They eventually went to the University of Pretoria, where King Harald opened a seminar on foreign policy.
Afterward, the King and Queen visited Freedom Park. This evening, they will attend a state dinner hosted by President Zuma.
Already a lot has been accomplished at this state visit. Co-operation agreements on partnerships, in higher education and research, plus mutual trade and investments have been signed. Also, efforts to tackle climate change have been agreed upon.
However, one thing would be noticably absent from this royal visit. King Harald and Queen Sonja will not be meeting with South African hero Nelson Mandela. He has chosen not meet the royal couple since he has resigned from public life and is struggling with fragile health.
Swazi King Cheered at Zuma Inauguration
King Mswati III of Swaziland received loud cheers and applause during his arrival to Saturday’s inauguration of South Africa’s new president, Jacob Zuma.
The overwhelming support for Africa’s last absolute monarch came when it was rumored he was not welcomed to the ceremony.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions had backed the Swaziland Solidarity Network to ban the King.
On Friday, The Congress released a statement explaining why they did not want Mswati to come.
“The Presidential inauguration will be a celebration of democracy” the Congress said. “The culmination of a long process in which first the rank-and-file of the African National Congress and then the people of South Africa have democratically selected a president and government of their choice.
“King Mswati on the other hand has been elected by nobody. He inherited his position of absolute power and has used it to deny his people any democratic rights…Opposition parties remain banned, trade union rights are curtailed and any opposition demonstrations are ruthlessly suppressed.
“The presence of this despot at the inauguration will be an insult to all the people of Africa. It will give him credibility and democratic credentials which he does not deserve… He should be treated as a pariah.”
The spokesperson for the Swaziland Solidarity Network, Lucky Lukhele, said:
“He has never spent R100million on his personal birthday and another R50million on 20 luxury Mercedes Benz S600 with plasma screens and fridges inside, while his own people go hungry.”
Despite all the efforts, the King did show up and was greeted warmly.
King Mswati is without controversy. He and his 13 wives and many children, live lavishly while the majority of Swazis live in intense poverty. Swaziland’s HIV rate is one of the world’s highest.