- An apparent war of words has broken out between KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and the Zulu Royal family
- The fiasco stems from the non-delivery of late Queen Mantfombi's vehicle following the recent handover of a fleet
- The IFP, which has harshly criticised Zikalala, is demanding an investigation into the whereabouts of the SUV
- Zikalala has since described the IFP's remarks as reeking of malice and desperation for political relevance
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ULUNDI - Tensions are running high in KwaZulu-Natal over the non-delivery of the late Zulu Queen Mother Mantfombi Shiyiwe Dlamini Zulu's SUV vehicle amid the provincial government's recent car handover to the Zulu Royal Family in Ulundi.
Last week, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala's office presented six brand new Toyota Prado's meant for the Queen Mother and the late King Goodwill Zwelithini's queens. The IFP has since questioned the timing of the gesture, alleging it was a coordinated publicity stunt on the part of Zikalala.
The IFP, which emerged as a formidable force in the province after the municipal elections in November, is now calling for a probe into the whereabouts of Queen Mantfombi SUV, the purchase of which was approved in the 2020/21 Provincial Budget.
"We're not satisfied with the vague explanation offered by the Premier regarding the late Queen's vehicle. He previously confirmed that it was purchased along with the rest of the other cars in the fleet," said Blessed Gwala, a spokesperson for the IFP, in a statement provided to Briefly News.
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"Further, he stipulated the vehicle would not be forfeited since a discount was received when the cars were purchased. If he respects and recognises the Zulu Royal Household, we believe he should have provided a valid explanation about the vehicle before the handover."
Timeline of purchases can be proved
Gwala, who previously remarked that Zikalala was attempting to win over trust using "frivolous actions" despite knowing that the handover was long overdue, said the IFP was not fazed by his harsh utterances.
It comes after a fiery response from Zikalala on Tuesday, who lambasted the IFP by describing their remarks as reeking of malice while it desperately sought political relevance. He claimed he could provide invoices that prove the vehicles were bought in June 2021, shortly after King Goodwill Zwelithini's death, IOL reported.
"For the IFP to crawl out of the woodwork and claim the royal palace has been ignored reeks of malice. The stance they hold concerning the vehicles displays disingenuous intent and political opportunism of the worst kind," said Zikalala furiously.
IFP tramples on coalition deal with ANC in eThekwini
Briefly News previously reported that the move came after the IFP previously confirmed it would cooperate with the ANC in the province's hung municipalities, following another previous decision where it stated that its stance is to have no dealings with the ruling party.
However, it seems the IFP has now made up its mind as its decision to abstain from the vote effectively cost the governing ANC mayoral candidacy in eThekwini. The ANC’s hopes of electing a mayor in eThekwini have been thrown into uncertainty after the IFP withdrew its support.
Source: Briefly News