SACP’s Mthembu eases fears over fate of Ingonyama Trust Board land
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AMID fears from some traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal that the government could make a move to seize the 3 million hectares of Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) land, the SACP in KwaZulu-Natal says it does not foresee the government taking over the land.
In the wake of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini's passing on Friday, aged 72, some of the Amakhosi in the province expressed fears the government would now make the move to take away the land from the Zulu monarch’s control.
One such traditional leader was Inkosi Mfanuvele Buthelezi of the Buthelezi clan in Vryheid who said he and other traditional leaders were concerned about the future of the trust.
Speaking to Independent Media, Inkosi Buthelezi said: “We fear that now the king is no longer with us, they (State) will intensify efforts to disband the trust and take away the land it administers. The king successfully opposed them while he was around and they may exploit the vacuum and rush the process to grab it.”
However, SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu has moved to quell the fears of the traditional leaders saying the Communist Party did not anticipate a situation whereby the government would take over the land.
“The government is dealing with all controversies around the Ingonyama Trust and we hope that an amicable solution will emerge out of these processes that are currently happening but we don’t foresee a situation where the government takes the land away from the people,” Mthembu said.
He was accompanied by a delegation of the Communist Party’s leaders in the SACP’s Moses Mabhida (KZN) province who arrived at KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace to offer their condolences to the royal family.
In recent years the ITB has been the subject of several moves aimed at disbanding it with the most significant of those moves coming from the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change led by former President Kgalema Motlanthe and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Advisory Panel.
The two panels recommended that the Ingonyama Trust Act should be repealed or substantially amended to protect existing customary land rights.