Zulu king calls special meeting with Amakhosi over Ingonyama Trust, Buthelezi won’t attend

King Misuzulu has called a meeting on Friday, but Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi won’t attend it. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

King Misuzulu has called a meeting on Friday, but Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi won’t attend it. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL

Published May 5, 2023


Durban -  Zulu King Misusulu KaZwelithini has called a special meeting of all Amakhosi (Chiefs) in KwaZulu-Natal in Ulundi on Tuesday to brief them on matters related to Ingonyama Trust.

The Ingonyama Trust manages 2.8 million hectares of tribal land in the province and ihas become a political football in recent years with calls ade for it to be abolished.

However, the king’s traditional prime minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said he asked to be excused from the meeting and gave his reasons to the king.

In a statement late on Friday, Buthelezi said he would not divulge the reasons for his non-availability.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 5, 2023

“His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has informed me of his decision to hold a high-level briefing session with Amakhosi from all districts of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, 9 May, 2023, in Ulundi, to brief Amakhosi on matters relating to the Ingonyama Trust.

“His Majesty has requested my presence and support at this briefing session.

“Regrettably, as I have reported to His Majesty, I am unable to attend this meeting.

“I have requested that His Majesty excuse me.

“As a matter of courtesy, therefore, I wish to inform Amakhosi in advance of my absence.

“I have provided my reasons to the king and he has indicated that he will respond to the matters I have raised with him.

“These matters will be discussed with Amakhosi at a future meeting, should the need arise, to ensure a full understanding of the situation.

“At present, however, these matters are still under discussion between His Majesty the king and I, and are thus not for public discussion at this point,” Buthelezi said.

The trust has been a thorny issue in the past few weeks after confusion erupted about who was the rightful chairperson of the board, former Judge Jerome Ngwenya or Inkosi Thanduyise Mzimela.

The confusion began late last month when Mzimela was introduced to the staff of the trust as the next chairperson of the board.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) May 3, 2023

After that announcement, Ngwenya claimed he was still in charge and that there were illegal attempts to remove him from his office.

Later, Buthelezi issued a statement and said according to his understanding, Ngwenya was still at the helm as King Misuzulu agreed that he would not change the appointment made by his late father.

In another statement, it was said the king had withdraw the nomination of Mzimela and Ngwenya was staying on as chairperson.

However, it turned out that the king had not withdrawn the letter nominating Mzimela, which was sent to Minister of Agriculture Land and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, who oversees Ingonyama Trust Board affairs since it is a state entity funded with public money.

It also emerged that on March 31, the monarch wrote a letter stripping Ngwenya of all the powers bestowed on him by the King Goodwill Zwelithini.

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