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SAHRC clears King Zwelithini of hate speech

It was alleged that the king's remarks resulted in the violent attacks against foreigners in KZN.

FILE: Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission has found that King Goodwill Zwelithini's comments on migrants were not hate speech.

The commission says that while the King's comments were hurtful and harmful, there was no causal link between them and the xenophobia attacks, which left seven people dead.

The commission is releasing its findings of its investigation into the Zulu king's comments.

Delivering the report, Advocate Lawrance Mushwana said: "Distrust of the responder's defence was that the utterances on the day in question were misconstrued and taken out of context by the media and that therefore he is not guilty of hate speech as it was alleged at the time."

The commission received 31 complaints following a speech by the Zulu king in March last year.

The deadly xenophobic violence were largely been blamed on comments made by Zwelithini in which he said foreigners must pack their bags and leave the country.

The commission was asked to look into comments he made during last year's xenophobic attacks.

King Zwelithini had always insisted that his remarks were taken out of context and misinterpreted.