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HRC not ready to release findings on king’s remarks

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The SA Human Rights Commission is not ready yet to hand over the findings on its report on alleged xenophobic remarks by King Goodwill Zwelithini, an official said on Monday.

“We are at this stage unable, in fact not ready, to release the preliminary findings. We’ve had to allow additional time for the gathering of information and responses from the respondents and complainants,” SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena told News24.

“Legally they were entitled to the extension so at this stage we are just processing the information because we now have everything.

“However despite the investigation currently under way, it does not preclude the commission from investigating the broader causes of xenophobia and convene the national hearing on the issue, something which is an option on the commission’s table,” said Mangena.

“We also need to find other ways to deal with xenophobia because the issue is huge and needs a multifaceted approach. The national hearing will be over and above the issue involving the king, it will help us deal with xenophobia on a bigger scale,” said Mangena.

More details on the national hearing will be released later.

King Goodwill Zwelithini’s adviser told News24 on Monday that his team had submitted all the necessary documentation to the commission.

“There was a delay of about one week because we needed more time to respond but we have responded to them, we have left it up to them to release the findings,” said Judge Jerome Ngwenya, who is advising the king.

The commission is investigating comments that King Goodwill Zwelithini allegedly made during a moral regeneration event in Pongola in March.

A recording of the speech on eNCA’s website reveals that Zwelithini said: “I would like for the government to help us… We must deal with our own lice… Let us take out the ants and leave them in the sun. We ask that all immigrants take their bags and go back to where they came from.”

The commission told News24 in May that it had received 28 complaints, most relating to the alleged xenophobic remarks. Zwelithini’s advisers had an official meeting with the commission in May and the findings were expected to be released by mid-June. News24

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