It has been a busy morning for the African National Congress (ANC) Election Head, Fikile Mbalula, following the Land Imbizo hosted by King Goodwill Zwelithini in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
The future of the Ingonyama Trust is a hotly contested issue, which was complicated by the presence of the ANC’s Carl Niehaus in Ulundi on Wednesday. Niehaus apologised for the treatment of King Goodwill and the perceived attack on traditional leaders in South Africa.
Mbalula, speaking to journalists on Thursday, distanced the governing party from the Niehaus speech, adding that there was absolutely no attack on the Zulu King or any of the traditional leaders in South Africa – certainly not from the ANC.
“It is his business. It is not the business of the African National Congress. He (Niehaus) responded on the mandate of the people who invited him and we respect that,” said Mbalula.
“The ANC, as an organisation has no such mandate that it has given to an individual called Comrade Carl Niehaus. He is our own Comrade and we respect him, but he did not speak on behalf of the ANC, period,” added Mbalula.
There is a bit of a mess to clean up now, as the leadership of the ANC attempts to clarify its position on the Ingonyama Trust.
“ANC didn’t take a decision to take land from the Ingonyama Trust,” explained Mbalula.
“We have heard the King, we are meeting with Contralesa and we are processing Contralesa’s views. We will meet with the King and address what the ANC stands for and what this government stands for, through our President.
“Comrade Kgalema represented the views of the land commission summit of the ANC. It doesn’t mean that the views expressed in the land summit debate of the ANC, are views of the ANC.”