"Respect and know who you are," Mokonyane
27 Sep 2010
After spending 35 years without setting a foot in the Gauteng province, the Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini was pleased by the cultural tolerance and pride displayed during the provincial Heritage Day celebrations on Sunday.
In a historic event his majesty addressed his subjects at George Goch stadium, near Johannesburg, during Shaka Day which formed part of Heritage Day festivities outside of his traditional Zulu Kingdom.
On Monday, his majesty together with the Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane addressed journalists around issues of culture and heritage.
He said from what he saw on Sunday, he was convinced that African values, norms and traditions were not moribund.
"I was last here in Gauteng in 1975; I was pleased by the invitation by the Izinduna who lead our people here. I was impressed with the Gauteng provincial government's respect for our traditions.
"I was also pleased that it was not only Zulus who came to celebrate the King Shaka Day, but people from different tribes also came to celebrate with us. We need to build bridges between racial and tribal groups," said Zwelithini.
Meanwhile, Premier Mokonyane urged South Africans to take pride in whom they are and where they come from.
"We must depoliticise culture. We need to spread the message of unity, diversity and our rich heritage.
"Young people should respect and know who they are," said Mokonyane.
Mokonyane further said as part of ensuring diversity her government was in a process of integrating all hostels around the province.
King Zwelithini lauded the Gauteng people who attended the annual traditional reed dance in KwaZulu-Natal. Ironically, he said, the majority of the maidens were from the townships, which was a sign of youth embracing traditions.
Zwelithini further emphasised that the reason for his kingdom to revive circumcision is part of the fight against HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Issued by: Gauteng Office of the Premier
27 Sep 2010
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