Call not to attend king’s imbizo

King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has called an imbizo with amakhosi to discuss his unhappiness over how the government was handling the matter of the Ingonyama Trust. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government.

King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has called an imbizo with amakhosi to discuss his unhappiness over how the government was handling the matter of the Ingonyama Trust. Picture: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government.

Published May 23, 2024


Durban — Some amakhosi have distanced themselves from the calls not to attend the king’s imbizo due to be held in Ulundi Thursday (today).

In an open letter issued by the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders on behalf of amakhosi, the House called on the king to first respond to the concerns which were raised by amakhosi regarding how the Ingonyama Trust was being managed.

The chairperson of the House, inkosi Sifiso Shinga, told the king in a letter that there were outstanding issues that needed to be addressed where the Provincial House did express a number of concerns about how the board was managed in the past and areas on which they believed the board needed to account.

He said a follow-up meeting was due to take place this year. However, because of competing activities, this meeting was postponed for a date at the beginning of June.

“The Provincial House notes the letter from Indlulamithi yamakhosi, dated 21 May 2024, extending an invite to the Provincial House to a meeting convened with all amakhosi to discuss the issue pertaining to the Ingonyama Trust.

“The view of the PHTKL (Provincial House of Traditional Khoisan Leaders) is that His Majesty the King considers to first meet with the Provincial House Executive Committee in order to receive a report on the matters the PHTKL had raised with the ITB (Ingonyama Trust Board) around a number of areas of dissatisfaction with the administration and management of the ITB and further consider the proposals the PHTKL made to the board.

“This is for purposes to ensure that there is synergy within the institution of traditional leadership around matters pertaining to the Trust and when His Majesty the King meets with amakhosi, this is also in consideration of the position of the Provincial House around issues relating to the Trust.

“Against this, our view is that the decision to convene all amakhosi on the matter is untimely and propose that His Majesty considers postponing the meeting and engages first with the PHTKL to consolidate a way forward,” read the letter.

It further read: “ Following this meeting, His Majesty may convene all amakhosi having exhausted all matters as reflected above. We hope that His Majesty the King receives our letter in order and considers our request in good spirits.”

Inkosi Ntombizini Mpungose said although she could not speak for all amakhosi, she did not believe amakhosi would heed the call, saying she and other amakhosi would be present in the meeting called by the king on Thursday (today).

“Everyone knows that the king’s word is final so I will be attending the meeting and I think other amakhosi will attend as well,” said inkosi Mpungose.

However, inkosi Shinga told the Daily News on Wednesday that the House was not calling for a boycott of the king’s meeting but it was a request, saying that if the king did not postpone it as per the House’s request, he himself would attend the meeting.

“The king has not responded yet to me, but if he does not respond and doesn't postpone it, I myself will attend the meeting,” said inkosi Shinga.

Reacting to the letter, the king’s traditional prime minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, said it was unprecedented that once the king convenes a meeting that there should be a counter-view from any quarter. He added that the gravity of the danger facing the Ingonyama Trust was that it required the input of all amakhosi in the province.

The king’s imbizo comes amid rising tensions between him and Agriculture and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza. Last week addressing amabutho, princesses, and princes outside Pietermaritzburg High Court, Buthelezi announced that the minister wanted to strip amakhosi of their rights to issue permission to occupy letters to the businesses who want to do trade in the land under the Trust, which the minister has since denied.

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