The Mail and Guardian reports that the government will not join the Ingonyama Trust Board's defence of a court case that challenges its authority.
Several rights groups took the trust to court to fight the conversion of informal land rights to long term lease agreements.
The government had been a co-respondent in the case but has since withdrawn.
The executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), Lawson Naidoo, joins Bongani Bingwa to explain why they went to court.
The Ingonyama Trust has coerced people into signing are 40-year lease agreements.— Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Casac
In terms of customary law and the informal rights of people who reside on the land that is under the custody of the Ingonyama Trust, they enjoy at the moment a right in perpetuity. It's granted to families and handed down from generation to generation.— Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Casac
What the trust is seeking to do is convert those permissions to occupy informal land rights to fixed-term leases with a whole range of new conditions including the fact that people will be forced to pay rent.— Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Casac
He adds that the trust hoodwinked people into signing the leases without a thorough explanation of the contents.
The forms were in English. It was not adequately explained to them and it was only when people were asked to pay rent, that they realised what they had signed.— Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary - Casac
Listen below to the full interview: