As part of his battle to stop the land held by the Ingonyama Trust from being removed from his control, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has called on his subjects to "think deeply" about who they give their vote to.
He also asked that they consider how much longer they plan to endure "being taken for granted" by politicians.
The Zulu king was speaking to thousands of his subjects gathered at the Ulundi Regional Sport Complex on Wednesday to hear how the land under the Ingonyama Trust should be "protected".
Zwelithini said it was painful to be "led by thieves and hypocrites who pretend to love their voters, but instead stab them in the back".
This appears to be a response to a high-level panel report led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, which recommended that the trust be repealed or amended, because its implementation has infringed on the individual land rights of the king's Zulu subjects.
While the report is still under review in Parliament, Zwelithini has issued a stern warning to the ANC-led government not to provoke him on this issue, saying if they do he'll be "forced to go to war".
The KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders has claimed Motlanthe "swore at the Zulu nation" by suggesting changes to the trust.
Chairperson of the body, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, said Motlanthe's description of traditional leaders as "village tinpot dictators" was "a swear word directed at the house", EWN reported.