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Ramaphosa 'didn’t apologise' to King Zwelithini over land issue

King Zwelithini hosted an imbizo in KwaZulu-Natal last week where he spoke strongly against calls to put land that belongs to the Ingonyama Trust under government control.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses ANC delegates at the party's manifesto consultative workshop on 25 June 2018. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa's office says he didn't apologise to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini but merely clarified government's position on the matter.

King Zwelithini hosted an imbizo in KwaZulu-Natal last week where he spoke strongly against calls to put land that belongs to the Ingonyama Trust under government control.

This led to an intervention by Ramaphosa who assured the king that the government has no plans to touch the three million hectares of land under the trust.

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko says the land is an emotive debate and should never be used to divide the country.

“The president has said everybody in South Africa should be engaging in this matter. We’ll listen to all views, we’ll engage all views and at the end of the process, the South African position has been deliberated by all our people.”

'HYPOCRITES'

The Zulu King said it’s painful to be led by thieves and hypocrites who pretend to love their voters but instead stab them in the back.

Tensions have been sparked by the report by the high-level panel led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

While the report is still under review in Parliament, the Zulu King issued a stern warning to the African National Congress (ANC)-led government not to provoke him on this issue otherwise he’ll be forced to go to war.

As a part of the plans to stop the land under the Ingonyama Trust from being taken away, King Zwelithini called on his subjects to think deeply about who they give their vote to and consider how much longer they plan to endure being taken for granted by politicians.

The king seemed to be repeating what happened in 2000 when AmaKhosi threatened to call on their followers to withhold their vote from the ANC during elections.

This sentiment had been echoed by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who said they were still waiting for Chapter 7 and 12 of the Constitution to be amended to more clearly define the role, powers and functions of traditional leadership.

Buthelezi also spoke about how he took exception to the fact that not a single ANC member called Motlanthe to order when referring to traditional leaders as “village tinpot dictators” during its land summit earlier this year.

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