Attending the annual Zuma clan gathering in Impendle this week former president Jacob Zuma addressed issues facing the community
Former President Jacob Zuma attended the annual Zuma clan gathering in Impendle on Tuesday, where he had been welcomed by more than 1 000 community members who had gathered for his arrival.
Zuma told the group that the Zulu people had been led astray by the colonisers and needed to find their way back so as to be a great nation as envisioned by King Shaka.
He went on to say that traditional leaders should engage with the relevant government structures regarding policies that they feel go against their best interests.
He used the reintroduction of the controversial virginity testing by King Goodwill Zwelithini as an example, saying that he was criticised for promoting the abuse of the rights of participants in the traditional ceremony.
The former president revealed that this didn’t make sense to him as parents would want their children to grow up without the distraction of romantic relationships in their youth.
He said that for him as a Zulu, having a way of ensuring the self-preservation of his children should be supported by the government.
The ex-president took the oppurtunity to touch on substance abuse in the country, reiterating comments made by Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma who had revealed that communities were plagued by crime and drug abuse.
Inkosi Zuma, Jacob’s nephew, revealed that communities were tired of living in constant fear of criminals who shamelessly sold whoonga. He said that the dealers were known but managed to avoid arrest.
Jacob Zuma expanded this sentiment by adding that reporting the dealers to police was an exercise in futility as there were very few credible officers to follow up.
“What are we supposed to do as fathers and mothers? If you beat up a criminal, you will get arrested.”
He went on to say that most of what the community did in order to raise their children in what they viewed as the correct way was deemed illegal.
Zuma gave spanking children as an example, saying that the parents who disciplined their children were at risk of the child reporting them to police and as a result faced possible arrest.
Jacob went on to say that the community should be given the power to solve their problems in their way, without state interference.
He urged leaders to engage with the relevant committees on how traditional authority could assist in the challenges the communities faced.
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