GOVERNMENT’s proposed policy of expropriation of land without compensation took centre stage at the annual Umkhosi weLembe celebrations at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday.
In his speech, Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini said the policy would pose a risk to food security and threaten the existence of the Zulu nation and announced that this had led him to ask Afriforum for help in fighting the proposed land reform.
Addressing the crowd in Isizulu, Zwelithini said: “The Zulu nation I’m talking about will not exist if we don’t have food. That is why I say farmers must come closer so that we discuss what we can do when we talk about agriculture and the availability of enough food in the land. That is why I am asking AfriForum of the boers to come and help us. They have introduced themselves to me [and said] that they are willing to work with me and my father’s people to uplift agriculture in our land in order to have food. When government started talking about land expropriation without compensation, boers downed tools. There is no food in South Africa.”
According to Zwelithini, who is the sole trustee of the Ingonyama Trust which controls 2.8-million hectares of land in the trust, he met with AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel and Solidarity at the Enyokeni Palace in Nongoma to discuss land reform in July.
Confirming the partnership Kriel said: “The decision was made during a meeting with Zwelithini and his lawyer Jerome Ngwenya, the chairperson of the king’s Ingonyama Trust. The recorded history between Zulus and Afrikaners is old and well documented, and examples could be found of both positive cooperation and conflict between the two groups.”
Meanwhile, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said: “Whenever we commemorate King Shaka, we remind ourselves of the strength of our inheritance. We recall the forming of our identity and the values on which our nation has been structured. The genius of King Shaka’s military strategies is honoured as is his remarkable skill at constructing a well governed, cohesive society. Today, let us keep referring back to these cornerstones of our nation’s identity. Our survival has been based on our courage and strength. But our capacity to thrive is based on our foundational values of cohesion, good governance and social justice.”
Zwelithini also took a swipe at former president Kgalema Motlanthe who headed up a high-level parliamentary panel aimed at assessing and reviewing all existing legislation in South Africa. A report called the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change, was released in November last year. In the repor, it was stated the Ingonyama Trust was likely unconstitutional and its existence should be reviewed in any land reform debate.
“They have it clear that they want the land to be transferred back to the state. Motlanthe must explain how he came to that conclusion, we want to know how someone who is not Zulu can decide on the fate of the Amazulu,” he said.
The annual event honours the legacy of AmaZulu founder, King Shaka Zulu. Umkhosi weLembe, formerly King Shaka’s Day draws thousands of AmaZulu each year. Umkhosi weLembe also coincides with Heritage Day when South Africans celebrate their rich culture and is usually held on 23 September. However, following the passing of King Zwelithini’s son, Prince Butho on 21 September, all celebrations were postponed out of respect for the royal family.
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