“I cannot accept, your canon, that we are to judge the Pope and the King, unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power… Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  – Lord Acton.

“UHulumeni unamandla! Ngeke sivume!” – Siboniso Armstrong Duma Provincial Chairperson of KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress

By Dr  Vusi Shongwe

Speed for the position of power kills. What happened at KwaCeza last Saturday was a confirmation that speed does kill in politics.

When people are parachuted to positions of power, having not been groomed well for positions of immense responsibility, they do what happened at the 110th Anniversary of King Dinuzulu at KwaCeza.

The real faux pas for me, which was the grave breach of Royal Protocol, was when Duma addressed the King by saying, “Wena Silo.”

It is inconceivable that Duma,  who serves as the chairperson of the ANC in KZN and is also the leader of government business, is clueless about the ‘dos and don’ts of interacting with His Majesty, King Misuzulu.

Perhaps at this point, I should declare my historical bona fides as ex-Deputy Director General (DDG) of the erstwhile Department of Royal Household and, thus, an ex-custodian of Royal Protocol. Therefore, I am expressing myself precisely from a position of ex officio authority rather than a mere reactionary writing out of boredom and being socially tjatjarag.

Grabbing the microphone from the traditional prime minister on Saturday was akin to grabbing it from iSilo. UNdunankulu weSilo is a personal assistant of iSilo and ipso facto an extension of iSilo.

There is no way to absolve Duma from his uncouth behaviour, which is low-life even by shebeen standards. Not to mention also disrespecting our Head of State, President Ramaphosa, and the nation that was watching the event on television.

Curiously and amusingly, Duma grabbed the microphone to graphically confirm the disrespect for iSilo that the traditional prime minister, the  Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi, was alluding to!

It was a comical case of “Mana kancane ngikhombise lento ozama ukuyisho!” (“Let me demonstrate what you’re trying to say!”).

The esteemed attendees at the function in KwaCeza witnessed a narcissist par excellence flaunting classic power buffoonery that most of the African leadership on the continent is sadly known for, and that may be one of the reasons that may have allegedly triggered former US president Donald Trump to dismiss the continent as “that shit hole!”.

On an empathetic note, on Saturday, we witnessed empirical evidence of a saying in the psychiatry and psychology academic circles that 90% of psychiatry patients are outside mental hospitals, and many are in positions of power!

To say Duma is narcissistic or egoistic fails to capture the clinically delusional self-importance that exhibited him more as ‘nine months pregnant with himself’.

Perhaps the Zulu nation should consider having a provincial one-minute silence for Duma.

  1. It so no wonder that sone ANC followers were attacked afterwards in a mini bloodbath. They also had no reason to be adorning ANC colours at a traditional ceremony that had nothing to do with party politics. I feel sorry for those injured in Duma’s place. I hope he never gets to be at events that don’t need petty party politics, and gets banned completely from being anywhere near the royal family. He’s not worthy. An apology from him and the party should be doing its rounds. Idiot!

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