In AfriForum‚ Zulu king Zwelithini finds an unlikely bedfellow in the land debate

05 July 2018 - 15:55 By Nico Gous
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets during a media briefing announcing the organisation’s response to the land expropriation bill compensation on March 19, 2018 in Centurion, South Africa.
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets during a media briefing announcing the organisation’s response to the land expropriation bill compensation on March 19, 2018 in Centurion, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Deaan Vivier

Civil rights organisation AfriForum and Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini are unlikely allies‚ but in the land debate both are vehemently opposed to government expropriating land without compensation.

“This policy does not only contain destructive consequences for the economy‚ but is also a threat to cultural conservation and local communities‚” deputy CEO Ernst Roets said.

“AfriForum’s stance has always been that the decentralisation of political power in favour of local communities is a more sustainable solution for South Africa and the retention of cultural diversity. Expropriation without compensation will achieve exactly the opposite.”

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

“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) at an imbizo in Ulundi in the northern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal.

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.”

A parliamentary joint constitutional review committee was instructed by the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces to investigate whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution‚ and other clauses‚ was necessary for the state to be able to expropriate land without compensation.

They are currently busy with public hearings across the country.


READ MORE: 

X