Zulu king backs white farmers
SUPPORT for white South African farmers has arrived from unexpected quarters after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini rejected President Cyril Ramaphosa's plans to expropriate land without compensation.
Saying he wished to form a partnership with AfriForum, the Pretoria-based organisation fighting to save farming land and draw attention to the murder of white farmers, King Zwelithini said the Zulu nation needed food security.
"I'm asking AfriForum of the Boers to come and help us, as they've introduced themselves to me that they are willing to work with me and my father's people to uplift agriculture in our land in order to have food," the King told a crowd in Durban.
"Because when government started talking about land expropriation without compensation, Boers downed tools. There is no food in South Africa."
The King is a largely ceremonial figure who nonetheless wields great influence over 12 million Zulu constituents, the largest ethnic group in South Africa.
The King was immediately attacked on social media as a "sellout" to white interests.
President Ramaphosa, leader of the African National Congress, has made no sign of backing down on his vow to change the constitution and seize land belonging to white farmers, even though it would have a disastrous effect on South Africa's economy and reputation.
It comes as South African society faces dire crime problems.
Violence has reached an all-time high, with 20,306 people murdered in 2017-18 at an average of 56 people each day.
AfriForum has so far recorded 343 farm attacks and 45 farm murders for 2018.
AfriForum's community engagement spokesman, Ian Cameron, said the King's stance worried the ANC, which will count on the Zulu vote at next year's election.
"We started meeting with him four months ago in his homeland and he agrees with us about land reform," said Mr Cameron, who has arrived in Australia with a delegation to raise awareness.
"There's a lot of unhappiness that this black King would work with a group like AfriForum. He's got massive support and it puts the ANC in a difficult position. Cyril Ramaphosa is not a Zulu and he's worried the King could withdraw Zulu support."