Gays are rotten, says Zulu king

23 January 2012 - 02:17 By Canaan Mdletshe
Zulu Monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini observes one of the Zulu nation’s sacred rituals, Umkhosi WoSelwa.
Zulu Monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini observes one of the Zulu nation’s sacred rituals, Umkhosi WoSelwa.
Image: Reinhardt Hartzenberg

Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini yesterday criticised people who engaged in same-sex relationships, labelling them "rotten".

"Traditionally, there were no people who engaged in same sex-relationships. There was nothing like that and if you do it, you must know that you are rotten. I don't care how you feel about it. If you do it, you must know that it is wrong and you are rotten. Same sex is not acceptable," he said.

He was speaking at Nquthu, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, during the 133rd commemoration of the Battle of Isandlwana, which the Zulu regiments won.

President Jacob Zuma, who shared the stage with Zwelithini, did not directly respond to the king's remarks.

Instead, he said: "Today, we are faced with different challenges . challenges of reconciliation and of building a nation that does not discriminate against other people because of their colour or sexual orientation."

In 2006, Zuma himself came under fierce criticism for the homophobic statements he made at Heritage Day celebrations.

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