Mavundla says KZN should be an independent state

Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) leader Philani Godfrey Mavundla calls for KwaZulu-Natal to break away from South Africa to become independent under the monarch. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/Independent Newspapers

Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) leader Philani Godfrey Mavundla calls for KwaZulu-Natal to break away from South Africa to become independent under the monarch. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 22, 2024


Durban — If businessman and politician Philani Godfrey Mavundla, leader of Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) had his way, the province would break away from South Africa and be called KwaZulu – a country belonging to Zulus.

The former deputy mayor of eThekwini and current mayor of Umvoti Municipality in Greytown believes the province would be better governed under the Zulu monarch and the economy would flourish because of the Durban and Richards Bay ports.

“We want the land of KwaZulu out of South Africa and we are very clear on that because being part of South Africa is not working for Zulus,” he said.

Mavundla said turning the province into an independent state was practical as other ethnic groups have their own states such as Botswana, Lesotho and eSwatini.

“Why can’t it be practical if the Zulu nation has 580km of coastline?,” he said.

He believed that the (native kingdom) were the rightful owners of their land and that they should be in charge of it.

“They (monarchs) were left out of the Codesa (Convention for a Democratic South Africa) negotiations and we have always said Free State does not belong to South Africa, but it belongs to Moshoeshoe (the first king of Lesotho who died in 1870),” he said.

He said the province would benefit from being independent through trading in its mineral resources and charging South Africa for using the Port of Durban and Richards Bay for importing and exporting purposes.

Mavundla said selling water from the Tugela River to Gauteng would also boost the Zululand economy, as Lesotho benefited financially by selling the same natural resource to Gauteng.

He said two pipelines transporting fuel from the Durban Harbour to Gauteng were another sign that KwaZulu-Natal has economic strength.

“Without Durban and Richards Bay harbours, Gauteng would not function. Therefore the economic hub is in fact in KwaZulu but things have been done the other way around,” he said.

Mavundla was concerned that under the South African government, 72% of the land was owned by 8.4% of the white population.

“The colonisers unjustly took the land from the natives and we are determined to fight for the return of Zulu land to our king and the restoration of the Zulu Kingdom to its former glory before the arrival of colonisers in 1652,” he said.

He said under his administration, Durban would not have a high unemployment, poverty and crime rate.

Mavundla, who owns a shopping centre named after him, has twice jumped ships looking for a political home. He first defected from the ANC, which made him the mayor of Umvoti from 2011 to 2013, to the National Freedom Party (NFP). He then left NFP to form ABC in January 2020.

Philani Mavundla, leader of the Abantu Batho Congress, wants KwaZulu-Natal to become an independent state. | NQOBILE MBONAMBI Independent Newspapers

Mavundla was campaigning to be premier of KZN and also has ambitions of being state president. He said he would not talk about forming a partnership with any party until the outcome of the general elections.

“Why would I even think of a coalition? It means I don’t have confidence in myself to win,” he said.

Getting into the coalition after the 2021 local government elections earned Mavundla the position of deputy mayor of eThekwini.

“We need to concentrate on winning at the moment and after that, we can talk about coalitions,” he said.

He said while former president Jacob Zuma was his friend, he had no intentions of joining his uMkhonto we Sizwe Party.

“Why would I leave the ABC to go to the MK? That would not make sense. Unless I do not have confidence in ABC,” he said.

Mavundla took exception with his party being labelled small, saying the impression had been created by those who conducted election polls.

“They would talk about ACDP, ActionSA and so on, but they don’t talk about ABC. Even in KZN, they don’t talk about ABC despite the ABC winning 27 seats in various councils. We have more council seats in KZN than ActionSA and the ACDP,” he said.

Mavundla became a successful businessman through hard work, which began when he was only 12 years old by selling snacks at school. He became a boilermaker for various companies in Durban.

In 1994 he co-founded Maziya Engineering and two years later formed PG Mavundla Engineering, which has been involved in various construction projects in KZN, Gauteng and Lesotho.

Among these were Durban’s uShaka Marine World, the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, the Sibaya Casino, and the John Ross Bridge in Richards Bay

Sunday Tribune