|King Goodwill Zwelithini (Picture: AFP)|
Johannesburg - A Nigerian human rights organisation has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate a complaint of hate speech against Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (Serap) also asked ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate the alleged complicity or negligence of South Africa's police in preventing the xenophobic attacks that it said resulted from Zwelithini's comments.
In the petition, dated from last Thursday, the organisation said it "considers the use of speech by the monarch to promote hatred and/or incite violence against non-nationals such as Nigerians, particularly in the media as a clear violation of the provisions of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court."
Zwelithini reportedly told a gathering in Pongola, northern KwaZulu-Natal in March that "foreigners must pack their bags and go home".
A spate of xenophobic violence erupted in parts of KZN and Gauteng in April that left at least seven people dead and thousands displaced.
Zwelithini later lambasted the media for "choosing to deliberately distort what was an innocent outcry against crime and destruction of property".