Durban - Veteran politician and IFP leader iNkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi has said that he became emotional and cried at the weekend when former president Kgalema Motlanthe recommended that the Ingonyama Trust should be repealed.
He said he could not control his emotions as the recommendation undermines King Goodwill Zwelithini’s authority over traditional land in KwaZulu-Natal.
A video of him crying while addressing the king during the commemoration of the battle of Isandlwana in Nquthu, northern KwaZulu-Natal, at the weekend was widely shared on social media.
Speaking in Zulu, he said he never imagined that there would come a day where the king’s authority would be compromised.
Buthelezi on Wednesday addressed the media on the sidelines of a forum that discussed land issues and the future of the trust at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
“The whole issue of land is very emotional especially the Ingonyama Trust, which they are looking to scrap. That has touched me very, very much,” he said.
The trust governs two million hectares of land which is managed by traditional leadership on behalf of the king.
Buthelezi, who is the king’s traditional prime minister, said when he thought about what the Motlanthe-led high level panel had recommended, he became emotional.
“What saddens me is that this is being done by black people against other black people,” he said.
Buthelezi said he founded the trust in 1994 on behalf of the king in order to protect the land of the Zulu nation from being taken by the state.
He said he was aware that he had failed to protect the whole land from being dispossessed by white settlers, but he did his best to protect “bits and pieces which were left over after the white people had their pick after their conquest”.
“I protected it so it could be governed through customary and indigenous law, and I don’t want it to become state land,” said Buthelezi.
The dominant topic of discussion yesterday was about the uncertain future of the trust.
In its 2016 report, the High Level Panel found that the Ingonyama Trust Act was unconstitutional “and presents a major obstacle to nation building, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal”.
The report said the act was passed secretly prior to the 1994 elections as a deal between former president FW De Klerk and Buthelezi.
Buthelezi told the traditional leaders that although Motlanthe led the panel that recommended the scrapping of the trust, the ANC as a whole should be blamed for this.