Zulu king heading to court over rent

Zulu king heading to court over rent

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been slapped with court papers in an attempt to force him to stop charging rent to occupiers of land under the Ingonyama Trust.

King goodwill Zwelithini

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) filed an application in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.


The application has been filed on behalf of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), the Rural Women’s Movement and seven informal land rights holders.


Applicants are challenging the conversion of permission-to-occupy certificates to long-term lease agreements by the Ingonyama Trust.


A number of people hold permission-to-occupy agreements registered under the Ingonyama Trust.


"We've been in discussion with some of the parties that have been involved in the case and after a series of discussions it was agreed that Casac would be the primary applicant in the matter.


"What the trust has been doing is they have been forcing people to convert their customary law rights, their informal rights to the land, which are secure rights secured in terms of the constitution to convert those rights into lease hold arrangements which is a severe weakening of those rights. Those rights only subsist for a period of forty years and may be terminated by the Ingonyama Trust, including if people default on their payment,” says Casac’s Lawson Naidoo.


The Ingonyama Trust, which was established in 1994, currently administers 2.8-million hectares of land on behalf of King Zwelithini.


The Zulu King is the sole custodian of the land previously administered by the former KwaZulu-Natal government.

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