'The Zulu monarch is not above the law, the Constitution is supreme'

Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini has refused to give up the land under the iNgonyama Trust. There are reportedly millions of hectares of land controlled by the Trust.

The ANC wants to expropriate the land without compensation but Zwelithini says 'over his dead body'.

Politics professor at the University of Johannesburg, Mcebisi Ndletyana says the ANC is simply affirming the law which applies to everyone in every part of the country.

Read: Why is the iNgonyama Trust only being targeted now asks King Zwelithini

The land under the trust should not be exempted from the law. The law simply says that traditional leaders are entitled to communal land which they govern on behalf of their subjects. But whichever way they govern the land should be subject to the Constitution, that the state is the ultimate authority.

Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations at UJ

Ndletyana says, in this instance, the Trust has practices that deviate from the established law. He says they have been leasing land to businesses who in turn build malls and the profits from the initiatives are not passed over to the community and there is no sense of accountability.

Read: KZN Contralesa: If iNgonyama Trust is dissolved it will lead to violence

We have what is meant to be some kind of a traditional authority with no accountability to anyone and operate in a way that is contrary to the law of the republic.

Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations at UJ

The ANC and the panel by Motlanthe simply seeks to enforce the law like anyone who is subject to the law.

Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations at UJ

Ndletyana says the government will have to find a way to deal with this situation and subject Zwelithini to the law.

He says the Zulu monarchy is not above the Constitution, there is a law and the law is supreme.

Hopefully, at some point, the Zulu king will see the light and follow the law like everyone else. They are not above the Constitution, this is not a Constitutional monarch, it's a Republic where the law and the Constitution are supreme.

Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations at UJ

To hear the rest of the conversation with Mcebisi Ndletyana, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'The Zulu monarch is not above the law, the Constitution is supreme'


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