Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini is going to court to fight attempts to repeal the Ingonyama Trust Act because he said people with “Zuluphobic” tendencies wanted to take away his land.
He addressed thousands of maidens, traditional leaders and government officials during the annual Reed Dance ceremony at his Enyokeni Palace at Nongoma, Zululand, on Saturday.
King Zwelithini accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of being disingenuous in handling the controversial issue of Ingonyama Trust Land.
He said the hatred for the Zulu nation was highlighted by former president Kgalema Motlanthe’s High Level Panel which in 2017 recommended that the Act be repealed.
He said he had finalised court papers with the aim of protecting KwaZulu-Natal’s rural land which was under the Ingonyama Trust Board’s control.
King Zwelithini said the presidential expert advisory panel on land, which Ramaphosa had appointed, also continued to insult him.
“From now we are no longer going to be provoked and keep quiet, but we are going to defend ourselves. I can assure you that court papers are ready because we want the court to explain to us if what is being done to us is correct. There is no court we are not going to go to in this country to defend our land. There is no court we are not going to go to outside the borders,” he said.
King Zwelithini said after he heard that Ramaphosa had appointed his panel to prepare for the implementation of Motlanthe’s recommendations, he wrote to him.
“I wanted to know if he had abandoned the promises he made to me on July 6. I wanted to see if he was not disrespecting me because I have my own easy way of dealing with those who are disrespecting me.
“I wrote to him later and I invited him to talk to the Zulu nation at a stadium and tell them what he intends to do with your land. He replied to my letter saying he would send ministers to discuss this matter.
He said even “my friends in Britain” were also concerned about attempts that were made “against my land”.
“The confusion about Dr Mahlathi’s (presidential panel) report is that they said they had been appointed by President Ramaphosa.
“If that is true as the Zulu nation we are shocked because it is the same president who asked to meet me on July 6 last year. When he was given a chance, he said his government was not agreeing with Motlanthe’s report.
“Now I am concerned if it is him who is saying something else,” said the King.
King Zwelithini said if Ramaphosa had changed his mind, he should have called another meeting.
“We are now asking ourselves if it is correct for a person (Ramaphosa) who holds this position and who has powers and authority to meet me to choose not to do that, but choose to assign educated people and a panel to insult us,” he said.
King Zwelithini said he would not fold his hands while he was being provoked “as they are people who are confusing my respect with stupidity”.
“As your king, I respect other people because of their positions, as my nation had taught me to respect everyone. Which is why I have a good relationship with the current provincial government, but I am concerned when I see other people I respect undermining me,” he said. He warned that Zuluphobia had all the elements of disaster.
“What we have observed is that this Zuluphobia is aimed at questioning the existence of the Zulu nation."
He blamed the media of being part of the Zuluphobia campaign with the aim of gaining readership and listenership “and raising revenue for themselves”.
“Apparently Zuluphobia had a high value for the pockets of the attackers,” he said.