Zulu king vows to rebuff any attempts to 'take' his land

05 July 2018 - 06:00 By Jeff Wicks And Lwandile Bhengu
Thousands of amabutho assembled in Ulundi on Wednesday for an imbizo at the command of Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini.
Thousands of amabutho assembled in Ulundi on Wednesday for an imbizo at the command of Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini.
Image: Jeff Wicks

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has warned of a clash of nations should the state make good on moves to dissolve the Ingonyama Trust Board and cede thousands of hectares of traditional land to the state.

A defiant Zwelithini was speaking at an imbizo in Ulundi in the northern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

“What I want you to know about our history is that the issue we are faced with now is very similar to the one our forefathers were faced with. This will be the second clash‚” he said in front of thousands of his amabutho (Zulu warriors).

The call to assemble came as the state adopts a posture of change‚ informed by a high-level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and Fundamental Change recommendation that the Ingonyama Trust Act should be repealed or amended‚ and the Ingonyama Trust should be collapsed.

This‚ traditional leaders say‚ would spell doom for traditional authority‚ with the Zulus the first to fall.

But Zwelithini said that he‚ like his forefathers‚ would be resilient and rebuff any attempt to “take” the land.

“I was born from a brave man and that is why I know I will be victorious against those who are trying to take my land‚" he said.

"It is 2018 and we are faced with the same issue that we were faced with in the olden days. The difference is that it is now coming from a black man and not a white one. The war our fathers faced before is the same war we are faced with today.”

In terms of the legal framework of the Ingonyama Trust‚ Zwelithini is the sole trustee of the land.

The act as it is provides for the establishment of a board to administer the affairs of the Trust and the Trust land.

But the panel‚ which recommended the scrapping of the act and the dissolution of the board‚ has found that the trust's current practices were inconsistent with the government's land policy‚ and did not secure land tenure for residents.

Zwelithini said that any move to compromise his hold on the swathes of traditional land was an insult to Zulu culture itself.

"l am here to remind you who birthed you. This is important because someone who knows themselves knows that what we are faced with today is spitting on the work of our forefathers‚" he said.

"The truth is that this nation that we fought for so hard‚ that we were arrested for‚ that we died for‚ today we are being punished. They are saying we must be stripped of what we have. Where must we go? We thought we were part of South Africa. The truth is that our existence is an annoyance‚" he added.

He also had terse words for political parties‚ with veiled references to EFF leader Julius Malema.

"I will not be disrespected by children who are not older than my own children‚ who say they aren't afraid of me. A child who thinks they can just do and say what they want about me because they lead a political party‚ I am too old for that‚" he said.

"As you await to hear what the future holds for you‚ so that you can make a decision. One of the decisions you need to make is that how much longer will you allow yourselves to be bullied by people who ask you to vote but don't like you‚ they only like your vote‚" he said.


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