Ingonyama Trust is hot property

The shifting political dynamics and the race to 2024 general elections in KwaZulu-Natal have seen political parties, including the governing party, resorting to desperate measures to woo support and ensure that they remain relevant.

Hoping to win popular support, political parties are now circling around the controversial Ingonyama Trust, all vowing to protect the entity from being scrapped.

The Economic Freedom Fighters is the latest party to declare allegiance to AmaZulu king MisuZulu kaZwelithini, saying it will fight tooth and nail to ensure that “nobody touches” the land owned by Ingonyama (a reference to the AmaZulu king).


“Even before the passing of the late king uMdlokombane (king Zwelithini), the EFF were unequivocal about our support of Ingonyama Trust.

“So for us it’s not a new issue used for political grandstanding. Our view is that it controls a small portion of land and that land is under the ownership of the people,” explained EFF provincial chairperson Vusi Khoza.

The entity controls about 2.8 million hectares of land.

The land is administered on behalf of rural citizens. The entity is the product of a deal between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Party, which was conceived on the eve of 1994 elections.

In 2020, the entity was dealt a heavy blow when the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change recommended that it should be repealed or amended to protect existing customary land rights.

Although the ANC in KZN has been accused of being wishy- washy and dilly-dallying on the matter, new provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said there was no intention to call for the scrapping of Ingonyama Trust.


“The ANC in KZN will protect the existence of Ingonyama Trust and the land under it from being expropriated. This was a resolution taken during the 54th national congress, which rejected the high level panel report. There is no plan to interfere with the land under the
Ingonyama Trust,” he said.

The panel, chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, also branded amakhosi as village tin pot dictators. The IFP, the official opposition in the province, is also adamant that the sudden change of heart by the governing party on Ingonyama Trust is not innocent.

“The IFP has championed the Ingonyama Trust for over 28 years and has fought continual threats from the ANC-led government to take the land away from the people. Their plan was to take land from the people and place it under central government control,” said IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli.

The ANC has also made an unexpected turn, announcing that it will honour the legacy of IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

“A team of elders will be assigned to have a dialogue with uMntwana wakaPhindangene to discuss his wishes to reunite with the ANC. Such a dialogue will help heal the wounds of the past and usher in a new era in this province and country as a whole,” said Mtolo.

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