File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - The Zululand community warned MPs against disrespecting King Goodwill Zwelithini by expropriating Ingonyama Trust Board land.

The warning came as members of the Committee on Constitutional Review conducted public hearings on the expropriation of land without compensation in Vryheid.

The king is the sole member of the trust, the custodian of millions of hectares of traditional land in KwaZulu-Natal.

Speakers told the MPs to expedite amending Section 25 of the constitution for the expropriation of white-owned land without compensation, but to leave “the king’s land” alone.

“Ingonyama land should not be touched by the review of the constitution. Instead, it should be increased,” said Star Ndlela.

Traditional leaders had been accused of oppressing people who live under them, but Smanga Zwane said that was untrue.

“We are not going to allow politicians to accuse amakhosi of dictatorship. Amakhosi are the custodians of this land since it was repossessed for them from the white settlers,” said Zwane.

Themba Ngubane, of the African Basic Movement, said all land governed by traditional leaders in the country should be placed under structures similar to the Ingonyama Trust to secure it from constitutional amendment.

However, EFF MPL Vusi Khoza said Ingonyama land should not be left out of expropriation.

“Ingonyama land should be distributed equally among people who live on it,” he said.

IFP MP Mzamo Buthelezi said KZN residents had proven that they had no problem living under the trust.

“This proves that people who had been talking too much against Ingonyama are not from KZN. Those who are calling for the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust Act are the enemies of the traditional leadership.”

However, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu said the views of people who defended the board did not carry much weight.

“(The) Ingonyama (defence) is not coming up strong here. Let the state be the custodian of all the land. The issue of Ingonyama is being blown out of proportion,” he said.

DA KZN leader Zwakele Mncwango said Khoza’s comment had proved that the EFF was pushing for the expropriation of communal land.

“This is the same with (President Cyril) Ramaphosa as the ANC Nasrec resolutions clearly say they would democratise communal land.”

Mncwango said Ramaphosa’s about-turn in saying the government would not touch Ingonyama Trust land was hypocrisy and came because the king had called an imbizo on the matter.

AfriForum deputy chief executive officer Barend Petrus Uys said the expropriation of land without compensation was theft from white landowners.

“My land was paid for in full, first with money, then with blood. I plead with all to stop dehumanising landowners and farmers. If you take a farmer’s land, you remove a father’s means to provide for his family.

“You steal if you take something without paying for it,” said Uys.

Daily News