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Ramaphosa walks a tight rope on land expropriation in KZN

President 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.

FILE: South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa gestures as he delivers a speech after being elected by the Members of Parliament, during his swearing-in ceremony at the Parliament in Cape Town on 15 February 2018. Picture: AFP

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One such piece of legislation is the Ingonyama Trust Act of 1994, which the panel recommended should be repealed because it was inconsistent with the Constitution.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

WATCH: Govt assures support to traditional leaders on land reform

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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