King orders Ingonyama Trust Board to table report on operations and affairs after reports of financial mismanagement

King Misuzulu wants accountability from the board. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

King Misuzulu wants accountability from the board. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published Mar 16, 2023


Durban - Zulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini has instructed the chairperson of Ingonyama Trust Board, Judge Jerome Ngwenya, to publicly table a report about the operations and the state of finances of the trust.

The instruction comes after it was recently alleged that R41 million was siphoned out in three suspicious transactions which, it is believed, were meant to empty the coffers of the trust before imminent board changes.

The king instructed Ngwenya to do so within seven days and also instructed that the same report be presented to the Zulu nation through isiZulu newspapers, community media and Ukhozi FM, an SABC radio station with a wide reach in the Zulu nation since it broadcasts in their native language.

Also to be briefed are Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Zulu nation’s traditional prime minister, Amakhosi (Chiefs), KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, the speaker of the Provincial legislature, Nontembeko Boyce and the Zulu nation.

In a statement on Thursday, the king said he made the call to Ngwenya after a private meeting with him.

“Upon the emergence of negative news reports relating to financial management in the organisation, on Tuesday, February 14 I convened a meeting with the chairperson of the board, Judge Jerome Ngwenya.

“In that meeting, I received a full report on the operations of the Ingonyama Trust Board, including programmes and finances. After receiving that report, I instructed Judge Ngwenya to arrange for the presentation of the same report in seven days,” the king said.

The king said his approach and demand for accountability stemmed from his maiden speech during the opening of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature where he made a call for conscience leadership and social accountability, starting with him and the institutions he leads.

“I once again wish to emphasise that leaders in government, business, clergy and ubukhosi must set an example of practising integrity, justice, inclusivity, empathy, diligence and morality.

“I implore everyone, at whatever level they may be serving, to religiously follow the dictates of practices and principles of conscience leadership,” the king said.

Recently, the king informed Dube-Ncube that he intended to have mining magnate, Jacob Mnisi, a businessman from Mpumalanga province to chair the new board.

However, Mnisi pulled out after an uproar, leaving the king with a new headache to nominate another candidate while racing against time as the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development wants the board to be urgently put in place.

The committee wants the new board to deal with corporate governance issues that have plagued the trust whose only trustee is King Misuzulu. The trust is in charge of 2.8 million hectares of land across KwaZulu-Natal.

Ngwenya confirmed to IOL on Thursday that indeed the king issued that directive and he was complying with it.

“Yes… the king tasked me with that. In fact, I am already halfway through with it (the report) and it may be presented earlier than that,” Ngwenya said when asked about the matter.

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