I’m speaking as a person who was delegated by His Majesty the King along with Professor Otty Nxumalo and Inkosi Mavundla to issue a statement about what transpired at the Reed Dance over the weekend.

Firstly I want to set the record straight about the circumstances surrounding the disruption that took place as I was present at the event. Although I’m not President Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson but it is incorrect for the media to state that President Zuma was shielded from the crowd due to the chaos that erupted. This is not true because when the King had stopped speaking, President Zuma went out to “wash his hands ” and then he immediately returned. This is not what the media has published.

There was some chaos when it was not clear whether there was a snake or a frog that appeared where the maidens were. Therefore it is mischievous of the media to decide to ignore the statement we issued and opt for sensationalism. Why did the media not ask us about what really happened? Why did they not read the statement we issued as per the request of His Majesty the King? Can the journalists tell us which maiden they can point who was the one that started “hystering”? Can they tell us what does “ufufunyane ” mean?

Those article are an insult to their media houses, themselves as journalist and their editors. Also it is an insult to President Jacob Zuma himself that he has been portrayed as a person who does not respect His Majesty the King because as the King was speaking he just went out and ran away to hide. He has been portrayed as a person who considered his safety more important than to show respect to His Majesty the King. His Majesty the King foresaw before the disruption that some journalists were there to distort the truth about all that would happen at the reed dance ceremony.

This clearly points to the fact that some journalists wilfully and consciously wrote articles to misinform the public. This conduct goes to the core of credible journalism, responsible reporting and upholding the truth. It is evident that the journalists who wrote the story allowed themselves to be used by elements who want to see the reed dance being destroyed and undermined. Such irresponsible journalism must not be allowed to continue unchallenged.

Issued by: Mr Blessed Gwala MPL, KZN Legislature, 078 290 5842