King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN
King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is calling for calm over the Ingonyama Trust saga, and plans to hold a land summit in Durban next week to clarify its position on this emotive issue.

The ANC accused other parties, including the IFP, of using the contentious issue to whip up tribal rhetoric and reignite faltering campaigns ahead of next year’s national elections.

On Wednesday Zulu king Goodwill and IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi were the main speakers at a Zulu imbizo at Ulundi where they said they would do everything necessary to defend the land under Ingonyama Trust, whose sole trustee is the Zulu king.

Mike Mabuyakhulu, the co-ordinator of the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial task team, told Business Day the ANC would engage the Zulu king and other stakeholders to clarify matter, and to assure them that the government does not intend to take away land under Ingonyama Trust.

"The land summit next week will be able to ventilate a number of issues, including this emotive issue of Ingonyama Trust. We want to clarify that the ruling ANC is more interested in the programme of expropriation of the commercial and arable land without compensation, we see this would bring more economic benefit to our people.

"But we will also discuss the security of tenure of people who live under Ingonyama Trust. We strongly believe there should be some form of security of tenure for rural people who live on this land.

"After this land summit we will be able to engage all other stakeholders, including the Zulu monarch on various issues. We want to make the king understand that we are not after the land under Ingonyama Trust," Mabuyakhulu said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ANC headquarters said its president Cyril Ramaphosa and other officials would lead a delegation to the Zulu king clarify the party’s position on the issue of expropriation of land without compensation.

Fikile Mbalula, ANC head of elections, rebuked MK Veterans’ Association spokesman Carl Niehaus for "extending the apology of the ANC" at the Ulundi bimbizo "without any mandate".

Nonetheless, the ANC has moved to dispel the perception that it is "anti-Zulu".

Bloomberg reported that  Ramaphosa also said on Friday that SA had “no intention” to dissolve the Ingonyama Trust.