DURBAN – KwaZulu-Natal’s Zulu king on Wednesday, told scores of loyal supporters that they must not allow themselves to be further provoked by the proposed scrapping or amendment of the controversial Ingonyama Trust Act.
King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu was addressing the congregation that gathered at a sports stadium in Ulundi l, for a land imbizo that he had called.
The imbizo also had some significance in that it marked the 139th anniversary of the Battle of Ulundi, where the British army broke the military power of the Zulu nation. It was the last of the major battles of the Anglo-Zulu War.
The king speaking in his mother tongue, isiZulu, addressing the crowd of approximately 4000 people, Zwelithini said the Zulu nation inherited the land from their ancestors and any attempt to strip them of their ownership would be an insult to the ancestors.
He said, “Anyone who wants to take away our inheritance does not like us,”
“I did not choose to be black and I did not choose to be a king. What we see today is that we are being discriminated against. It has become clear that the Zulus are not wanted. War has been declared against all Zulus.”
The Ingonyama Trust owns about 29.67 percent of mostly deep rural land in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The king is the sole trustee of the land, which is divided according to clans and is overseen by traditional leaders, the King and those close to him do not want that land appropriated.
Zwelithini said they will defend the land and the Ingaba will be established to ‘defend’ the Ingonyama Trust.
An inquiry to look into the trust is chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, the panel recommended that “the Ingonyama Trust Act be repealed, or substantially amended, to protect existing customary land rights”.
However Zwelithini told Wednesday’s gathering that government should stop focusing on land and instead focus on its leadership abilities. He also called on the government to respect the Zulu nation.
He added that some politicians were behaving as if they were “gods”.
“Zulus are not stupid, they do not worship politicians,” he said.
“There is nothing as painful as being governed by thieves,” said the Zulu monarch.
He continued to say that political leaders should be open and honest about their feelings for those of Zulu descent.
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