Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini on Saturday took part in the National Men’s Day walk against gender-based violence and femicide, pledging his commitment to protect women and children.
The walk and conference was organised by the GoodMen Foundation in collaboration with Queen Ntokozo Mayisela-Zulu’s Kamaskolo Foundation in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Addressing men and women gathered at Kingsmead Stadium where the walk ended, the king said women and children have lost faith in a country marred by violence.
“In my inaugural speech as King of Zulus, I committed myself to protect women and children. I made this pledge because gender-based violence and femicide are the biggest barriers to achieving dignity for women and children.
“Today I stand before you to honour that commitment. I am starting a long journey with my countrymen of all ages, all races, all languages and all social standing. Most of our grandmothers, mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and nieces have lost faith because they get victimised by the people they trust the most.”
‘Collaborate to fight the scourge’
He urged South Africans and organisations to work together in fighting violence against women and children.
“The reality is that we are facing a lot of challenges and collaboration among us can extend the impact despite limited resources. Hence I ask all organisations fighting this war to collaborate so that work together through our capabilities and skills.”
The king said rural areas were the worst affected due to the remote location and lack of adequate resources, such as police stations.
“We are all guilty through commission or looking the other way. Those among us who do nothing to wipe out the scourge are just as guilty as perpetrators.
“As my father [late king Zwelithini] was also a big part of the fight against this monster. He was a great champion against this problem. This is to also honour him as people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa at large.”
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu also took part in the walk.