Ramaphosa walks a tight rope on land expropriation in KZN


African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa has had to walk a tight rope politically in KwaZulu-Natal, where he has temporarily allayed tensions that land under the Ingonyama Trust will be expropriated.

Ramaphosa urgently visited Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini on Friday night, promising him that the government has zero plans to touch three million hectares of land under the Ingonyama Trust.

The Zulu monarch evoked ethnic nationalism and threatened to go to war if the land is transferred to the hands of the state.

One of the key mandates of the high-level panel was to investigate gaps and possible unintended consequences with post-apartheid legislation.

One such piece of legislation is the Ingonyama Trust Act of 1994, which the panel recommended should be repealed because it was inconsistent with the Constitution.

On Saturday, President Ramaphosa said the land under the trust would remain untouched.

“We have no intention whatsoever to even touch the land engaphansi kweNgonyama [under the Ingonyama Trust].”

While the ANC’s resolution to expropriate land without compensation has nothing to do with the report, it now seems the president has had to buy himself time by saying the land won’t be touched, temporarily quelling tensions.