The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has cried electioneering and has suggested the ANC cannot be trusted after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s move to placate King Goodwill Zwelithini over the latter’s threat to go to war to protect the land he controls in the Ingonyama Trust.
At the weekend, the ANC updated the nation on a “fruitful and constructive” engagement with the king of the Zulu nation, on the sidelines of the party’s election campaign in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
Ramaphosa reassured the king, who a week ago was warning government not to touch the Ingonyama Trust, under which traditional leaders across KZN administer land, as the land expropriation debate intensified.
Communal land was never intended as the target of expropriation without compensation, Ramaphosa apparently told the king.
In a statement on the interaction, the ANC pointed out that communal land constitutes only about 13% of land. Land being targeted for compensation was the remaining 87% and all expropriation undertakings would be lawful and just, in accordance with the expressions and desires of the people of South Africa.
But IFP Gauteng leader Bonginkosi Dlamini said the ANC’s track record in handling the Ingonyama Trust suggested the ANC could not be trusted on its word on this issue.
He said since the party came to power, attempts to dissolve the trust have been documented as early as 1999. It was also documented in the last national congress in December, he added, that the KZN ANC was still pursuing the issue.
Dlamini suspected that Ramaphosa did not have enough power within the ANC to make such reassurances, and warned that “the communists” in the ruling party had yet to make their stance known.
“Remember the high-level panel was appointed by parliament, of which the ANC holds the majority, [and] the ANC recommended the scrapping of the panel’s recommendation.
“No one in the ANC, including the deputy president, David Mabuza, when he was asked in parliament, ever contradicted former president Kgalema Motlanthe when he called our traditional leaders ‘tin-pot dictators’.
“So, when you look at the track record of the ANC in dealing with this, there has always been a high appetite for the scrapping of the Ingonyama Trust.”
“Goodwill Zwelithini does not own that [land] and he is holding [it] in trust on behalf of the Zulu nation. He is just a trustee. That land is administered by 352 traditional leaders in communities across KZN.
“[The land] is free, there are no rates, and the title deed is with the induna of your ancestors. And now, because the king has come out to speak about this with the support of the other traditional leaders in KZN, they want to turn around and be seen to agree with him because it is election time now.”
An accord was reached, the ANC said, that further engagements on the question would assist both the king and the president.