Zwelithini slams the media for foreigner comments

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FILE image. Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, at the annual Reed Dance on August 31 at the Enyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal.

DURBAN - King Goodwill Zwelithini has lashed out at the media for allegedly misinterpreting his comments about foreign nationals.

This follows claims that his words could have sparked the recent xenophobic violence.

Hundreds of foreign nationals have been attacked across Durban in the past two weeks.

On Thursday a woman was shot dead at Umlazi by a shop owner in a looting incident.

An anti-xenophobia march on Wednesday turned ugly when a man was beaten up, allegedly by locals.

Government officials and religious leaders on Friday held a service outside City Hall to pray for peace.

Zwelithini slammed the media and condemned the violence directed at foreign nationals.

"I wish to denounce three great evils we experienced these past weeks when dealing with what was raised as general concerns about crime and lawlessness. These three evils are greed, xenophobia and tribalism. These three evils are the motivating force behind the vitriol articles, destruction of property and loss of human lives that some in print media have seen it proper to attribute as direct consequences of His Majesty’s address at the Pongolo event a week ago," the office of Zwelithini said in a statement.

"It is disappointing that despite numerous explanations even by those who were present at the Pongolo event, including the Minister of Police, Honorable Nkosinathi Nhleko and MEC Willies Mchunu, some sections of the media elected to deliberately distort what was an innocent outcry against crime and destruction of property."