King Goodwill Zwelithini Picture: Mandla Mkhize/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet King Goodwill Zwelithini following the packed imbizo at which the monarch condemned former president Kgalema Motlanthe’s proposal that the controversial Ingonyama Trust Act be amended. ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula on Thursday sought to reassure the king and his subjects that the governing party had no intention of taking land under the Ingonyama Trust, of which the Zulu monarch is the sole trustee.

He said the urgency of Ramaphosa and other ANC officials meeting King Zwelithini was now more pronounced following Wednesday’s imbizo in Ulundi. Mbalula’s assurances come as Ramaphosa’s cabinet set up a team of ministers to interact with traditional leaders to discuss and seek an amicable solution to their concern over land expropriation without compensation.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize will be the team’s convener and will be supported by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane.

Ramaphosa is also due in KwaZulu-Natal for the provincial launch of the ANC’s #ThumaMina campaign. Zwelithini was highly critical of the recommendations of the independent high-level panel chaired by Motlanthe that the Trust be repealed to bring it in line with the national land policy and secure land tenure for communities and residents.

However, Mbalula said there was no ANC position that the party was for or against the Ingonyama Trust and it did not want to be construed as anti-Zulu or anti-Zwelithini. “If there is any need to apologise, the ANC will,” he said.

Mbalula also distanced the ANC from Motlanthe’s statement that traditional leaders were behaving like “village tin-pot dictators”, saying his views were not those of the ANC. Mbalula said controversial uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus misrepresented the ANC in Ulundi when he apologised for Motlanthe’s comments at the party’s land summit in May.

“Niehaus has no mandate to speak on the ANC’s behalf. He just erupted like a volcano” said Mbalula, adding he didn’t know who gave permission for “Niehaus and his jacket” to misrepresent the ANC at the imbizo.

On Thursday, Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA secretary-general Zolani Mkiva, said Contralesa supported land expropriation without compensation wholeheartedly and believed that the Trust was an administrative instrument with its own problems.

“But the land under the administration of the Ingonyama Trust is the land under the hands of Africans. It is not stolen land. We want to make that clear. It is the land under the administration of black people,” he said.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu slammed the agreement which led to the creation of the Trust Act, which he said was controversially signed by the last apartheid president FW De Klerk.

“It was signed into law on April 25, 1994, just two days before the general elections. It was part of those deals and what happened is that 2.8 million hectares of land which was under the administration of the KwaZulu homeland was transferred, all of it through that act, to the Ingonyama Trust,” Shivambu said.

The Mercury