Zulu king says he prevented war over legal action against Ingonyama Trust
King Goodwill Zwelithini prevented a potential war after a court application against the Ingonyama Trust.
That's according to the monarch, who delivered a keynote address at the opening of the house of traditional leaders in Ulundi in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
"The ones who take me to court will be answered in court because I am a respectful person. Some close to me were ready for war but I said no, the government doesn’t know how many fires I have to put out in this nation that is ready to burst into flames," said the king.
He was referring to an application filed by the Legal Resources Centre on behalf of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), the Rural Women's Movement and seven informal land rights holders who are challenging the conversion of informal land rights to long-term lease agreements.
The trust, whose sole trustee is the Zulu monarch, was established in 1994 to be the custodian of 2.8-million hectares of land previously administered by the former KwaZulu government.
If the application succeeds, the trust will be ordered to pay back the millions of rands it has been collecting in rent for nearly a decade from people living on the land it controls on behalf of the king.
"We don't want to attend court - we want to farm so that we can uplift the nation ... The little soil we have must be used to produce food and not build unnecessary houses because of it being family land. Back in the day if someone didn't farm on their land it was taken away," said the king.
"Let us stop this back and forth and start farming," he added.
The monarch also took a swipe at the government, saying that they were confused about the land issue.
"As traditional leaders, we are the last ones to let confused people (deal with the land issue) because we will be the ones who have to answer to our forefathers who fought for the land," he said.