Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini has urged all South Africans to protect foreigners and distanced himself from allegations that he called for their immediate removal from the country.
King Zwelithini, told thousands of people who attended an imbizo in Durban, that he had nothing to do with the xenophobic attacks, adding that South Africa would be in ruins by now if he had ordered Zulus and other tribes to forcibly remove foreigners from the nation.
“There are reports that are linking me to this violence indicating that I called for these attacks. South Africa would by now be in ashes if I had done that. For now, the 'war' is to fight together to protect foreigners regardless of where they come from,” said the Zulu traditional leader.
Speaking at the same imbizo, a meeting convened by a king or traditional leader, Inkatha Freedom Party president, Mangosutho Buthelezi also urged South Africans to stop the xenophobic attacks.
On Saturday, President Robert Mugabe attacked King Zwelithini and other South Africans for sparking the violence, which has spread from Durban to some parts of the country.