South Africa: EFF, Contralesa Defend Zulu King's Special Land Imbizo

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) have come to the defence of Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini and his special imbizo on land.

The two held a joint media briefing at the EFF's Braamfontein headquarters on Thursday where they committed to working together on a range of issues, including land expropriation and the 2019 elections.

Contralesa has had a long-standing relationship with the ANC.

Both the EFF and Contralesa believe Section 25 of the Constitution needs to be amended to allow expropriation without compensation.

The traditional body says the focus should not be on the Ingonyama Trust, but on 87% of "stolen land" which was not in the hands of Africans.

There have been mixed reviews to the king's special imbizo. Some have accused him of talking war and others, mostly from his nation, have supported his views.

King Zwelithini has taken exception to the findings of a parliamentary high-level panel, led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, which recommended that three million hectares under the trust be transferred to the state.

The act which empowers the trust was signed into law just three days before South Africa's first democratic elections. Motlanthe said this was done primarily to preserve the Zulu homeland.

"The Ingonyama Trust and the king's meeting yesterday should be viewed as part of the contribution to the ongoing debate which we are having in our country," EFF leader Julius Malema said.

"Why should everyone else, but the king can't speak," Malema questioned.

Earlier, the ANC treaded carefully over the king's comments and the Ingonyama Trust, of which he is the sole trustee.

Despite the king taking jabs at the party, the ANC said it wanted an urgent meeting because it was "misconstrued as anti-Zulu monarch".

Malema shared some of his observations as Parliament's Constitutional Review Committee looks into whether South Africans wanted the Constitution's property clause amended to allow expropriation without compensation. He said harsher things were said to leaders in the country when ordinary citizens shared their views on the heated land debate.

"We've had the boers declaring civil war; that anyone who touches the land, there will be blood on the floor. They didn't say it in a diplomatic manner. They [said] it in a very provocative manner, but we don't get angry because it's their contribution," said Malema.

He added that the land issue was emotive but added that people should be allowed to say what they want.

Malema also said he did not view King Zwelithini's views any differently.

"We see it as the most progressive meeting as they are preparing to receive the public hearings of Parliament, which are going to KZN. Unlike others, who were shocked when we arrived because they didn't know," said Malema.

Contralesa general secretary Zolani Mkiva, who admitted that there were problems with the Ingonyama Trust, said it should be an issue dealt with at a later stage.

"We support expropriation of land without compensation wholeheartedly and we believe the Ingonyama Trust is an administrative instrument which has its own problems. However, the land under the administration of [the] Ingonyama Trust is land in the hands of Africans. It's not stolen land," said Mkiva.

He told journalists at the briefing that he believed some of the issues raised should be dealt with through discussions behind closed doors, but that the current focus had to be on returning "stolen land".

"That is what the primary focus should be, we must not confuse this discussion by diverting this focus into the land already in African hands, 'cause that land was never stolen. We will deal with that," said Mkiva.

Source: News24

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