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King Goodwill Zwelithini to call on God to fix 'vexing' land issue‚ killings in KZN

The prayer is scheduled to take place at the old legislative assembly building in Ulundi on June 10.
King Goodwill Zwelithini. The prayer is scheduled to take place at the old legislative assembly building in Ulundi on June 10.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has called for a mass prayer by religious denominations in KwaZulu-Natal for a solution to the troubling issues of land‚ crime and killings in the province.

The prayer is scheduled to take place at the old legislative assembly building in Ulundi on June 10.

In a statement issued on Friday by Zwelithini’s spokesman Prince Thulani Zulu, he said: “There are many disturbances that have happened in the province which include different kinds of crime‚ the killing of people and accidents and the vexed issue of land which is a thorn in our hearts.”

He said the king strongly believed in the power of prayer and that was why he was inviting religious people to partner with him in asking God for a solution.

Zwelithini is leading the fight against the proposed scrapping of the Ingonyama Trust‚ under which administers about 2.8-million hectares of tribal land. The king is its sole trustee.

The high-level panel on the assessment of key legislation and fundamental change‚ headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe‚ has recommended that the Ingonyama Trust Act be repealed or amended and that the trust be dissolved.

Motlanthe stoked the fires further in mid-May when he told an ANC summit on land expropriation in Boksburg that traditional leaders behaved like village “tin-pot” dictators regarding the issue of communal land and that this land must not go to traditional leaders but to the people.

On Tuesday‚ Deputy President David Mabuza told the National Assembly that the draft Communal Land Tenure Bill‚ which will go before Parliament soon‚ would end conflicting views that communal land belonged to the traditional leaders.

His comments are in line with the resolution of the ANC’s elective conference in December that traditional leaders should relinquish custodianship of the land held in trust by the government.

But Zwelithini and traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal have said they’ll oppose any attempts to dispossess them what they believe is their rightful land. The king has even set up a fund to assemble a team of lawyers to fight for what he regards as his land.

He has the backing of KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu‚ who has vowed that the province will not support any attempts to scrap the Ingonyama Trust. Mchunu has said that the province will hold a land summit this year on matters of land management and use.

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