'The suggestion that there was incitement to violence is an ill-informed view'

Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust Judge Jerome Ngwenya says President Cyril Ramaphosa met with King Goodwill Zwelithini on Friday to provide clarity on the issue of land.

This follows the confusion that ensued following the report and recommendations made by a high-level panel headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

The panel recommended that the trust in charge of the land, the iNgonyama Trust, be dissolved.

Read: 'It's not President Ramaphosa who apologised to King Zwelithini'

The President wanted to clear the air that there is no intention from government to tamper with land held by iNgonyama Trust for and on behalf of the people.

Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust

That detailed discussion on the matter will have to be arranged between the two offices so that further details can be discussed and agreed to.

Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust

When asked whether the President apologised to the King, Ngwenya said that he is not sure what the President would be apologising for.

Ngwenya says after the high panel report was submitted to the King and the Trust, they requested to meet with former President Kgalema Motlanthe to get clarity, but the response was very hostile

The acting secretary of Parliament was very hostile. He said the panel has now done its work and it was dissolved. The high-level report was now the property of Parliament and that it will now follow the parliamentary processes.

Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust

I don't think one would've been satisfied with that response. Firstly it was evasive and it was insisting that it was going to follow the parliamentary processes. Parliamentary processes mean it will be submitted to various houses so that it gets approved as the law of land.

Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust

Ngwenya denies that the King's statements during the Imbizo in KZN invoked ethnic nationalism by threatening to go to war if some of the land is transferred to the State.

I am not sure where the ethnic issue is coming into being when people are protecting their property. They are entitled to express their views within the confines of the law.

Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust

The suggestion that there was an incitement of violence is an unfortunate ill-informed view by those who believe that each time the King speaks to his people he is inciting violence.

Judge Jerome Ngwenya, Chairperson of the iNgonyama Trust

Political analyst, Lukhona Mnguni says the ANC is avoiding dealing with the issue of the iNgonyama Trust because it could have unintended consequences or shift support form the ANC to the IFP.

Remember that the ANC doesn't have the traditional voter base in KZN because they were not in power for ten years after democracy in 1994. So they are standing on a very shaky support base and they are quite aware of the influence of traditional leaders.

Lukhona Mnguni, Political Analyst

They are trying to play political football which unfortunately undermines the whole constitutional framework of the country.

Lukhona Mnguni, Political Analyst

To hear the rest of the interviews on the iNgonyama Trust, listen below:


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