KZN ANC breaks ranks

2018-07-20 06:00

AS the ANC continues to send mixed signals around the future of the Ingon­­yama Trust, KZN on Monday became the party’s first province to break ranks with former president Kgalema Motlanthe over the matter.

Motlanthe, who led the high-level panel that recommended the dissolution of the trust currently administering the province’s tribal land on behalf of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, has accused certain traditional leaders of acting like “village tin pot dictators”.

However, ANC Provincial Task Team (PTT) co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala said Motlanthe’s views were not shared by the ANC leadership. “It does not represent the view of the ANC,” he said.

Addressing ANC delegates during the party’s provincial land summit in Durban, Zikalala said the party was in constant contact with traditional leaders. “We don’t see this dictatorship that some are talking about,” he said.

Zikalala also told delegates that Motlanthe and his panel had failed to consult stakeholders before reaching the conclusion that the Ingonyama Trust Act should be repealed.

The summit, whose focus was the proposal to expropriate land without compensation, took place against the backdrop of strained relations between ANC leaders and the king.

The ANC wants rural dwellers to get title deeds for the land they currently occupy as opposed to the current arrangement were the land is administered by the Ingonyama Trust — whose sole trustee is Zwelithini.

However, Zwelithini, who threatened that his subjects would boycott next year’s general elections if the ANC goes ahead with the proposals, views the issuing of title deeds to people living on Ingonyama land as akin to usurping his powers.

Sharing the stage with Zikalala, ANC PTT convener Mike Mabuyakhulu said commercial land as opposed to tribal land would be affected by the proposed expropriation of land without compensation.

“The issue of land in rural areas is not our concern — we are not concerned with the 13% of land already in our hands. Our focus is the 87% of land that was taken away from us,” he said. During its national conference held in Johannesburg last year, the ANC resolved that tribal land across the country should be transferred to the state for redistribution.

The conference resolved to extend tenure rights to citizens living on tribal land.

However, while both Zikalala and Mabuyakhulu said there was a need for rural dwellers to enjoy tenure rights, the ANC leaders could not say whether residents living on Ingonyama Trust land would also benefit from the programme.

Adding to the confusion is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assurance to Zwelithini over the weekend that traditional leaders would continue to hold land on behalf of their subjects.

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