ANC KZN yet to acknowledge appointment

Zulu Traditional Prime Minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/Independent Newspapers

Zulu Traditional Prime Minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 13, 2024


The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has yet to acknowledge the appointment of new Zulu Traditional Prime Minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi.

This despite King Misuzulu kaZwelithini announcing the appointment during his address last month at an event to mark the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Isandlwana in the Nquthu area, northern KZN.

Thulasizwe Buthelezi has taken over the position that was left vacant after the death of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who was in the position for more than six decades.

Thulasizwe Buthelezi is currently the mayor of Zululand District Municipality and a senior leader of the IFP, but the king shot down any speculation that the appointment was political.

King Misuzulu said Thulasizwe Buthelezi had worked with Mangosuthu Buthelezi for many years and he wanted to appoint someone in the position who would understand the vision that the late Prince Buthelezi had for the nation.

Asked about the appointment, ANC provincial chairperson Sboniso Duma said at the weekend, in a video shared on social media, that the party had not heard about Thulasizwe Buthelezi’s appointment.

“According to our knowledge he is a mayor with allegations against him and we will wait for those to be resolved.

People in Zululand have their own problems and at the moment we will not recognise him,” Duma said.

Thulasizwe Buthelezi had said he had been subjected to a malicious smear campaign since November 2017 when he became the mayor of Zululand.

He had challenged those making allegations against him to report him to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and to law enforcement agencies.

On Saturday, EFF leader Julius Malema, speaking at the launch of the party’s manifesto at Moses Mabhida Stadium, said the party respected Thulasizwe Buthelezi as the prime minister of the Zulu nation.

“We are not ignorant of your political affiliation but we respect the king’s decision and we shall follow as such,” Malema said.

During a press conference last week Thulasizwe Buthelezi revealed that King Misuzulu has an ambitious plan for traditional leaders and not government to run the Ingonyama Trust.

The Ingonyama Trust administers about a third of the land, or almost 3 million hectares of land in KZN, and it is administered by the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).

He said the king wants the amakhosi to play a more significant and hands-on role in the governance of the trust.

DALRRD spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said the Trust was governed by the Ingonyama Trust Act and any processes to amend the act would have to be done in Parliament.

“We note the statement issued by the newly appointed prime minister on behalf of the king; however, we have not received any written letter informing the minister of the king’s decision.

“We must also correct the section of the statement that says the trust and amakhosi are reporting to the minister sitting in Cape Town. We view this as misleading as the trust has the board that has offices in Pietermaritzburg.”

Ngcobo said the board runs the daily affairs of the trust and amakhosi, and if they have concerns they are able to go to their offices daily.

Meanwhile, the new prime minister earlier this month asked to meet the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) and the trust’s CEO in a letter he sent to chairperson Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela.

“His Majesty the King has requested that I meet the board and CEO of the Ingonyama Trust Board to obtain clarity on the issues pertaining to the ITB, which His Majesty as sole trustee of the board has no knowledge of.

“It would be appreciated if the scheduling of this meeting can be treated as a priority.”

He told “The Mercury” that Mzimela has not yet responded to his request for a meeting with the board. Reports have emerged that some board members felt uncomfortable with the requested meeting.

Mzimela on Monday said he still had to speak to the board members and discuss the venue, time and date of the meeting.

“As chairperson, I am the one who is mandated to call for a meeting. I will call the meeting and then invite the prime minister,” Mzimela said.

The Mercury