'King is treating land as his own private property and the residents as tenants'

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has slammed Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for what he says is the intimidation of people over land expropriation without compensation. Malema says South Africa is a democracy and his party has a right to disagree with the king.

Taking a closer look at the Ingonyama Trust, its history, who controls this land in KZN, The Midday Report's Ray White speaks to Aninka Claassens, Senior Researcher, and WAR Director.

She says the land is held in trust by the king on behalf of beneficiaries, and the question is whether the king is treating this land as the property of the beneficiaries, or is he treating it as his own private property?

The worrying indications are that he is treating it as his own private property and turning people who live on the Ingonyama Trust land into tenants other than owners of their own land and extracting rent from them which are never returned to the beneficiary communities but are used for running the trust.

Aninka Claassens, Senior Researcher & WAR Director

Claasens said even though the king is the sole trustee, in 1997 a board was created and that board controls the trust.

That board has really sought to challenge anyone else's power to control the land. They went to court to say that nobody but the board should have the power to allocate land, but the judgment said no, Amakhosi have been allocating land and you cant take away that authority.

Aninka Claassens, Senior Researcher & WAR Director

The board also argued that the department of corporative governance and traditional affairs stopped issuing permission certificates for that land, which means people have no way of recording their land rights other than taking out a lease with the Ingonyama Trust, she adds.

We argue, in fact, that those people already own that land in terms of customary law and also because many people have these permissions to occupy, these certificates which are upgradable to ownership in terms of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act.

Aninka Claassens, Senior Researcher & WAR Director

Click on the link below to hear what Claassens has to say about the Ingonyama Trust:


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