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Nhleko continues to defend Zulu king’s comments

The police minister says Goodwill Zwelithini‘s comments about foreign nationals were taken out of context.

FILE. A screengrab picture of Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: Supplied.

DURBAN - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has continued defending comments made by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, saying he was present when the king made the speech about foreigners and his comments were taken out of context.

The king has maintained he did not call on people to attack foreign nationals, nor did he incite violence when he said they should leave the country.

The minister's defence of the king comes as the monarch prepares to address an imbizo on xenophobia in Durban later today.

Xenophobic tensions, which started in KwaZulu-Natal last month spilled over into various areas in Gauteng including Alexandra.

A Zimbabwean man living in a #refugee camp in Primrose east of Johannesburg says despite the threats on his life, #SouthAfrica holds a better future for him and his family. #Xenophobia #XenophobicAttacks #Primrose

A video posted by Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) on

Nhleko says he was present when Zwelithini addressed the issue of foreigners in South Africa and his speech started by mentioning the borders.

"The starting point on the side of the king was to say that people are walking over, in and out of our borders, and he was appealing to government to do something about it."

The police minister says the misunderstanding is due to the translation of the word 'deportation' from English to isiZulu.

LISTEN: Clinical Psychologist Thabang Tlaka speaks on the psychological & emotional effects of xenophobia on foreign nationals & their children.

While Nhleko insists the king did not tell foreigners to leave, he says no one has the right to do so in South Africa, as the process is governed by law.

SECURITY MEASURES AT IMBIZO

The police minister says there's no need to deploy extraordinary security measures at the imbizo on xenophobia in Durban today as he believes the people attending will be responsible and obey the law.

Zwelithini has summoned chiefs, the heads of communities and the so-called Amabutho to the Curries Fountain Stadium, to address the recent attacks on foreign nationals in Durban and Gauteng.

Nhleko says he's confident the police will be able to secure the imbizo without violence or interruptions.

"We're not putting plans together to secure the imbizo precisely because it's an imbizo that's been called. But we secure all the activities; we make assessments and analysis of situations and decide."

The minister says those attending are aware that they are not allowed to bring any traditional weapons, as this is against the law.

"Our starting point is that the gathering is a gathering by responsible people."

Nhleko says the king's imbizo will help the state communicate a cohesive message to all people that xenophobia will not be tolerated.

WATCH: Foreign nationals fear more attacks might occur

An Ethiopian shopkeeper in #Alexendra tells #EWN that despite 2 of the 3 shops he co-owns being destroyed by looters, the necessity to earn a living out-weighs the risk to his life. #Xenophobia #XenophobicAttacks

A video posted by Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) on

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