Short Report

Hands off King Goodwill!

04 October 2017 - 15:37
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. File photo.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. File photo.
Image: Supplied

You know what’s wrong with education today? Not enough children are being tortured by random strangers.

At least‚ that’s the view of King Goodwill Zwelithini‚ patron of education in KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking to a gathering of teachers and principals in KZN Wednesday‚ the king expressed regret that corporal punishment was illegal‚ saying that the odd flogging would “make learners perform well”.

His words will have caused alarm‚ not least among people who subscribe to the radical idea that whipping children might not be the best way to instil in them a love of learning.

The good folks at KZN’s provincial education department‚ too‚ will be feeling a bit deflated. Over the last few years they have performed miracles‚ sending the province’s Matric pass rate rocketing from 60.7% in 2015 to 69.5% last year. And did they flog anyone? Hell no. They simply relied on the dedication of teachers and principals who spent last year cornering struggling Grade 11s and ordering them to drop out of school and set fire to their lives so that education departments and the parasites at Sadtu can look like they're actually doing something.

Still‚ I would like to say a few words in defence of the king.

Firstly‚ to those who insist that corporal punishment has no place in the modern world‚ I must point out that the king is not from the modern world. He is from a magical faraway place called “the utterly shitty past”‚ where people are king because their dad was king because their dad was king‚ and if anyone asked you “Oi‚ why are you king and not me?” you could just say “Because dad” and if they kept complaining you could knock them on the head and feed them to the hyenas. So your argument is invalid.

In fact‚ given that Goodwill is the embodiment of that world‚ I think he is being admirably progressive by calling for children to be beaten rather than‚ say‚ sewed into a sack and thrown into a river. Indeed‚ the very fact that he wants them in school is an anarchic act of anti-monarchist revolution‚ because it presents his subjects with the opportunity (at least in theory) to study and leave his kingdom‚ rather than doing much more loyal things like ploughing their parents’ fields and dying of dysentery. And you dare call him regressive!

And so today I say: hands off King Goodwill! Let his reign endure and prosper‚ so that he may remain a living reminder to us that royalty and nobility are very different things; that wealth does not imply intelligence; and that “Because dad” isn’t really a good explanation for anything.

ANC Conference 2017
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