King Goodwill Zwelithini, right, with the leader of the Ebuhleni faction of the Nazareth Baptist Church Mduduzi Shembe at the annual King Shaka Day celebration in Durban. The king invited the Shembe church to attend the event. Gcina Ndwalane African News Agency (ANA)
KING Goodwill Zwelithini has rejected land expropriation without compensation, saying that it will destroy food production by driving “hard-working” white farmers out of the country.

Addressing the King Shaka celebration at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday, the king said the government would destroy the spirit of the rainbow nation by passing the land bill.

“When the government raised the issue of expropriation without compensation, white farmers downed their tools, and right now there is no food in South Africa,” he said.

In July, the king held a meeting with AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel at the Enyokeni Palace in Nongoma to discuss the issue of land.

“Without food there would be no Zulu nation, which is why I am saying farmers must come to me to discuss agriculture.

“That is why I appealed to AfriForum to help us with food production. AfriForum has promised to work with me to develop agriculture,” he said.

He said if South Africa runs out of food, its citizens would cross borders to neighbouring countries.

“White people came to me to say ‘now we are ready to work with you’.

“When the debate about expropriation of land without compensation started, the Russians said to them ‘come here’ because they (the Russians) know that white farmers are hard workers, who feed the whole world. The same Russians that helped you during the struggle are now taking people who oppressed you,” he said.

The king said it was unfair that certain white farmers were previously compensated for their farms and “now there is no compensation”.

“This means we are not building unity (between whites and blacks). This means current leaders are no longer talking about Madiba’s rainbow nation,” said the king.

He also called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to appear before an imbizo to assure the Zulu nation that the government would not disband the Ingonyama Trust Act.

He said he wants Ramaphosa to address the nation and also sign agreements that protect the Ingonyama Trust Board.

Acting Premier Sihle Zikalala, who is also KZN Economic Development MEC, assured the king that the government would not touch Ingonyama land.