ANC ally targets Ingonyama Trust

KIng Goodwill Zwelithini is the sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust. /Jackie Clausen
KIng Goodwill Zwelithini is the sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust. /Jackie Clausen

The SA Communist Party has broken ranks with its alliance partner the ANC on the contentious issue of land under the custodian of traditional leaders, calling for the dissolution of the Ingonyama Trust, whose sole trustee is Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

At a media briefing in Durban yesterday, the party said it stood firm on its decision that the Ingonyama Trust must be scrapped and replaced by a more democratic communal land-ownership pattern.

The SACP's Phumlani Mthembu said its call came because of reported cases of corruption and dissatisfaction among people living on land under the trust's control and its failure to benefit them.

"There are a number of reported cases of corruption and dissatisfaction among the people living on the land under the Ingonyama Trust with 'Permissions To Occupy' certificates, with no security, as they can be evicted unjustly in the name of Ingonyama.

"The majority of the people who are supposed to be beneficiaries of the trust funds benefit very little, if any, on the service from the funds of the Ingonyama Trust. We believe the king has the generosity to reason with the Ingonyama Trust board and KZN premier and heed the plight of the land-hungry people who want to work and live on the land."

The SACP and ANC will make a submission to the public hearings on whether section 25 of the constitution should be amended to allow the state to expropriate land without compensation. The KwaZulu-Natal leg is due to begin today and will run until Saturday.

However, the ANC in the province yesterday reiterated its position that expropriation of land without compensation was not targeting the 13% of land in SA under the control of traditional leaders, including the Ingonyama Trust.

ANC provincial task team coordinator Sihle Zikalala said the party would continue to engage with traditional leaders, including King Zwelithini, in an effort to achieve consensus on "best modalities to address this emotive issue of land redistribution".

His sentiments were echoed by ANC provincial task team convenor Mike Mabuyakhulu, who said while the ANC was advocating for the expropriation of land without compensation, the land under amakhosi cannot be expropriated.

"We cannot expropriate what is already within the purview of the state. So this matter should not be confused with the issue of the amendment of section 25 where we are focusing on the 87% of the land."

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who recently assured King Zwelithini that the ANC government has no intention of expropriating land under the control of the Ingonyama Trust, is expected to hold another round of negotiations with the Zulu monarch and other traditional leaders, where the issue of rural tenor rights is expected to take centre stage.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.