WATCH: Amakhosi reject new Ingonyama Trust Board as the fallout between King Misuzulu and Buthelezi widens



Published May 28, 2023


Empangeni - The stand-off over the new Ingonyama Trust Board which is now chaired by Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela - who replaced former Judge Jerome Ngwenya - has taken another turn after some traditional leaders rejected it.

The group of some amakhosi (chiefs) from all over KwaZulu-Natal gathered in Empangeni on Friday for a meeting with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The meeting was over matters related to the trust. Not all amakhosi attended the meeting because they are divided over the matter.

During the meeting Buthelezi provided a history of the trust and why he feared the land it held would soon be sold.

He also raised concerns over the new board’s composition, saying one of the board members, Lisa del Grande, once publicly supported a recommendation by former president Kgalema Motlanthe that the trust be disbanded and the land be brought under government control.

After addressing the traditional leaders for almost five hours, Buthelezi left the podium for some of the speakers to take over.

Among those who spoke was Ngwenya who spoke about how the trust had been cheated by the government of its revenue, saying if it was getting all that was due to it, it could not be begging for funds.

Ngwenya also justified the controversial leases the trust used to collect rental income, saying without them, the trust would have no money.

“Without the leases, there will be no source of income for the Ingonyama Trust. Those who said there is money, where do they think it will come from without these (leases)?” Ngwenya asked

He also said the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling that compelled the trust to cease the leases and refund all monies collected was being appealed at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“That case is at the Supreme Court of Appeal, even though there are underhand tactics to throw it out,” he said.

After day-long public deliberations, the meeting was continued beyond of the media glare, and the traditional leaders mapped a way forward.

They then called in the media and announced several resolutions, including the rejection of the new board and seeking an audience with Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, who recently announced the nine-member board.

The resolutions were read out by Professor Otty Nxumalo, a royal family insider who was close to King Goodwill Zwelithini and served as the chairperson of the coronation of King Misuzulu last year.

“The board that has been announced by the minister is not accepted and amakhosi are rejecting it since the minister of land installed it without consulting anyone,” Nxumalo read out part of the resolution, saying there was a committee that would meet with Didiza over the matter.

It was also resolved that Buthelezi should soldier on as the traditional prime minister, and he should sign his affidavits supporting King Misuzulu's court case. However, that is on condition that the king used the dumped lawyers from the Strauss Daly law firm.

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