The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) wants a forensic investigation into the whereabouts of late Queen regent Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu’s government-issued SUV.
The car purchase was approved in the 2020/21 budget, but KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said the province could not issue the vehicle owing to the Queen regents death.
“This would amount to maladministration and would result in a negative audit finding,” said Zikalala earlier this week.
But now the IFP Spokesperson for Safety and Community Liaison in the KZN Legislature Blessed Gwala has questioned this, saying: “We are not satisfied with the Premier’s vague explanation pertaining to the late Queen’s vehicle. The Premier is on record confirming the purchase of the vehicle.
“Further, he clearly stipulated that the vehicle would not be forfeited, as a discount was received when the fleet of royal cars was purchased,” added Gwala.
The ANC-led government and the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal are embroiled in a bitter tit-for-tat spat over the Zulu royal family.
The latest feud involves six Toyota SUV’s that the KZN government gifted to the widows of the late Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini. The five Toyota Prado’s and one Fortuna were handed over to the queens in Ulundi last week.
But the IFP wants to know what became of the late Queen’s car, which was never handed over.
“If Premier Sihle Zikalala respects and recognizes the Zulu Royal Household – as he claims – we believe he should have provided a valid explanation about the vehicle, before handing over the rest of the fleet,” insisted Gwala.
“We are not fazed by the Premier’s harsh utterances. All we are asking is that he must be honest with the people of KwaZulu-Natal.”
Both the ANC and IFP are vying for the support of the Zulu royal family in a big to gain political mileage.
While the royal household has no executive powers, it remains a powerful traditional leadership structure and wields influence over one-fifth of South Africa’s population.