A Pietermaritzburg High Court judge on Tuesday avoided making a ruling on whether to stop a bull killing ritual.
"I suggest that all parties sit down and agree whether video footage can be taken during the ritual so that this matter can be handled by Parliament," said Judge Nic Van der Reyden.
He said it was difficult for him to rule on the matter, saying that the bull killing ritual went to the heart of Zulu tradition.
The judge said he was not trying to dodge making a ruling but it would be suitable for Parliament to deal with the matter if evidence was found that the bull was killed in a cruel manner.
Animal Rights Africa (ARA) had taken the Zulu king and KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize to court to stop the Ukweshwama ritual, scheduled to take place on December 5 at Zwelithini's palace in Nongoma.
A bull is killed during Ukweshwama as a symbolic way of thanking God for the first crops of the season. ARA argues that the manner in which bulls are killed during the ritual is cruel.
The judge likened the stopping of the bull killing to ordering Catholics to stop eating the Holly Communion.
He said the issue of bull killing needed to be looked at in a proper context, saying he believed it was not done by crazy people.
"This has been done for years. It is done by the Zulus who constitute the biggest population in this country. There are about 10 million Zulus in this country," he said.
He said many young Xhosa men died every year during circumcision rituals but the ritual was not stopped because it was important to the Xhosas.
The judge asked the applicant's lawyer Michael Smithers if he thought Parliament was not aware of the bull killing ritual.
Smithers said he was not sure if Parliament was aware.
"Are you telling me that the President [Jacob Zuma] is not aware? He is Zulu. He must be aware of this."
The judge said his understanding was that by killing the bull, the Zulus believed they were transferring power to their king.
"If I rule that the bull should not be killed it means that the power will not be transferred to the king. Let's say the king is struck by lightening after the ruling, people will say it is because I have interrupted their ritual," said the judge.
He described the Zulus as a proud nation with a very rich history.
"They are a very proud nation. The British lost their battles to the Zulus."
Smithers argued that his clients had tried several times to engage the king and government on the issue of bull killing.
"The matter was taken to court after my clients failed several times to get an opportunity to discus this matter," said Smithers.
The affected parties were expected to tell the judge after lunch if they agreed to his proposal to take video footage during the upcoming ritual which would be used to analyse if the killing was cruel.
The court proceedings were attended by scores of members of the Zulu royal family including King Goodwill Zwelithini's brother Prince Mbonisi Zulu and senior Prince Reggie Zulu.
The case, which has attracted much media attention, was also attended by Zulu culture experts including a team of Zulu scholars and members of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.
The courtroom was packed with people wearing Zulu attire.
The authorities decided to use a bigger court to accommodate the scores of people interested in the case. This was the same court where Zuma's corruption trial was held. - Sapa