King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: THE TIMES
King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: THE TIMES

The SACP has broken ranks with its alliance partner the ANC on the contentious issue of land under the custodian of traditional leaders‚ calling for the dissolution of the Ingonyama Trust‚ whose sole trustee is Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

At a media briefing convened by the SACP Johannes Nkosi District in Durban on Tuesday‚ the party said it stood firm on its decision that the Ingonyama Trust must be scrapped and replaced by a more democratic communal land-ownership pattern.

The SACP’s Phumlani Mthembu said their call came following a number of reported cases of corruption and dissatisfaction among the people living on land under the trust’s control and because of the trust’s failure to benefit those people. They lived on the land with permission to occupy certificates‚ but had no security as they could be evicted unjustly in the name of Ingonyama.

He said the majority of the people who were supposed to be beneficiaries of the trust funds benefited very little‚ if at all. "We believe the king has the generosity to reason with the Ingonyama Trust Board and KwaZulu-Natal premier and heed the plight of the land hungry people who want to work and live on the land‚" Mthembu said.

Both the SACP and ANC will be making a submission at the public hearings on whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow the state to expropriate land without compensation.

The KwaZulu-Natal leg of the public hearings will run from Wednesday to Saturday.

However‚ on Tuesday, the ANC in the province reiterated its position that expropriation of land without compensation was not targeting the 13% of land under the control of traditional leaders‚ including the Ingonyama Trust.

ANC provincial task team co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala told a media briefing in Durban that the party would continue to engage with traditional leaders‚ including King Zwelithini‚ in an effort to achieve consensus on "best modalities to address this emotive issue of land redistribution".

His sentiments were echoed by ANC provincial task team convener Mike Mabuyakhulu‚ who said while the ANC was advocating for the expropriation of land without compensation‚ the land under amakhosi — which is part of the 13% — could not be expropriated.

"We cannot expropriate what is already within the purview of the state. So this matter should not be confused with the issue of the amendment of section 25 where we are focussing on the 87% of the land‚" said Mabuyakhulu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ who recently assured King Zwelithini that the ANC government had no intention of expropriating land under the control of the Ingonyama Trust‚ was expected to hold another round of negotiations with the Zulu monarch and other traditional leaders‚ where the issue of rural tenor rights is expected to take centre stage.