Durban – The Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs has dismissed rumours that Ingonyama Trust Board chairperson Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela had been axed. This follows a letter that has been circulating on social media.
The letter was confirmed by King Misuzulu’s confidante, Jacob Mnisi, to be authentic and as having been signed by the king, but department spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said Mzimela was still board chairperson and the rumours were untrue. Ngcobo said appointments to the board, especially the chairperson’s position, were not done through social media but through proper communication with Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didiza. He said the board was functioning well and that the department was in constant communication with Mzimela as the chairperson.
“There is no crisis in the trust. As the department we are not bothered by letters circulating on social media because they mean nothing. The trust’s chairperson is appointed by the king not only with a letter but the king also calls the minister and informs her, so as we speak the king has not said anything to the minister… The only time Mzimela will leave the position will be when the king writes to the minister informing her of the removal and new nominee. The king does not write to individuals about that decision,” said Ngcobo.
In the letters seen by the Daily News, Mzimela had been replaced by Inkosi Mabhudu Tembe of Tembe Traditional Council in KwaNgwanase, in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Mabhudu is also a member of the board.
The explanation echoed the statement by the king’s office, which also dismissed rumours of Mzimela’s removal. In a statement issued by the king’s head of Communication and Stakeholder Relations, Prince Africa Zulu of Onkweni Royal House, he warned the public not to take seriously the letter they were seeing on the social media. The prince laughed off weekend reports which suggested that he and Mzimela were fired, urging the Zulu nation to be careful of journalists and the publications that were being used to cause instability within the trust and the royal family. He said he and Mzimela were continuing to do their jobs.
“Matters concerning the appointment of Ingonyama Trust Board members are executed by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, in consultation with His Majesty the King. Similarly, the appointment of the head of Communications and Stakeholder Relations in the Office of His Majesty is confirmed through an official letter signed by His Majesty and communicated to all relevant provincial and national government departments. These powers are conferred by South African Administrative Law.
“The general public is advised to disregard any utterances from imposters and groupings claiming to have the powers to decide who shall be appointed by His Majesty the King. The Office of Communication and Stakeholder Relations condemns these desperate acts,” Prince Africa said.
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