Zulu Royal Family criticises Land Panel report

Staff Writer | Jul 31, 2019
The recommendation to disband the Ingonyama Trust has been rejected by the Zulu Royal House.

The Zulu Royal Family has dismissed the presidential expert panel on land reform as a ‘kangaroo court’ after it recommended the dissolution of the Ingonyama Trust.

The panel recommended that the Trust be dissolved, and the legislation which governs it be amended or repealed.

The Ingonyama Trust was formed shortly before the inaugural all-race elections in 1994 as a means of securing the involvement of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in the poll. The Trust controls nearly a third of the land in KwaZulu-Natal, and the sole trustee is the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini.

The panel’s recommendation was criticised by Sipho Ngwenya, the Trust’s chair, who called it a ‘kangaroo court’. The panel was also slammed by Prince Thulani Zulu, the King’s spokesperson, who said that the King had not been consulted at any time on the findings of the report.

According to BusinessLive, the chairman of the panel, Dr Vuyo Mahlati, had said that there were serious questions about the finances of the Trust, and about the imposition of a lease system on land that people already owned.

The Ingonyama Trust is proving to be a vexed issue for President Cyril Ramaphosa. Last year, King Zwelithini went so far as to threaten secession when the future of the Trust was raised.

The question of the Zulu kingdom – and Natal – seceding has been a simmering issue for many years. Natal was probably the most reluctant of the four colonies to join the Union of South Africa in 1910, and there was much support in the province for the idea of secession in the 1960s, as Afrikaner nationalism tightened its grip on the country. Some form of Zulu autonomy was a hot-button issue in the run-up to the 1994 elections.

 

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