Reports have it that Ramaphosa  knelt before the Zulu King and apologised. At first I thought that this was mere figurative speaking. It never occurred to me that this was a literal account of what had happened. Though I know that in Venda people kneel before a King very proudly I do not think that this applies to presidents. Protocol simply does not allow it.

Ramaphosa is the head of state. He embodies the dignity of South Africa. Zwelithini is a mere head of the Zulu tribe. He is not even head of those Zulus who do not subscribe to tribal ways. Zwelithini has no right to threaten South Africa with his knob kierie wielding tribesmen who think they are soldiers. It sets a very very bad precedent to capitulate to this nonsense.

The Ngonyama Trust Act is not constitutional. The manner in which this Trust is being used to enforce serfdom is downright criminal. So Ramaphosa should have stuck to his guns. Now he has exposed himself to demands by other Kings to have their Ingonyama Trust Acts too. This is inevitable because other Kings are already unhappy at the preferential treatment of the Zulu King who is paid R70 million per annum in addition to the R95million he raises by being a feudal overlord.

As for actually kneeling before Zwelithini, it is very, very bad politics. All the little tinpot tribal dictators will crave being photographed with Ramaphosa kneeling before them. Nothing can boost the ego of a petty dictator more than being seen with the president kneeling before them. That is the sort of image they need in order to strike terror in the hearts of their defenseless subjects. The idea is to demonstrate that even the President of South Africa cannot help them.