Fynns renew throne quest
Two years after the death of anti-apartheid activist Morris Fynn, his family have resumed with his campaign to retain the land on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast that was given to their ancestor, Henry Francis Fynn, by King Shaka in 1824.
The family want the provincial government to release the results of an inquiry by the Nhlapho Commission into the Fynn claim to the chieftainship, which was taken away by the apartheid government in 1954 in terms of the Bantu Authorities Act. The land was given to Fynn by Shaka on his marriage to Zulu princess Mavundlase.
Last month, Fynn’s son Martin, the chairperson of the Fynn Descendants’ Association and Trust, made an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) for the records and recommendations of the hearings. Members of the trust believe that the commissioners may have ruled in favour of the deceased, who had been battling to get the provincial government to release the decision at the time of his death at the age of 84.
They also met with Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) head Mangosuthu Buthelezi this week in a bid to elicit his support and assistance for their claim to the title, which would see Martin become a chief of the Nyangwini area.
The current chief is former IFP MP Bhekizizwe Luthuli, who opposed the Fynn leadership claim during hearings conducted in 2014 by the Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims.
The chieftaincy of the Mathulini Tribal Authority, which covers three wards at Umzumbe – 1 200 hectares of which are known to be fertile agricultural land – was given to the Luthuli clan by the National Party regime, which would not accept the concept of a coloured chieftainship.
Martin Fynn told City Press this week that after a period of mourning, the family had decided to push ahead with the fight for the chieftaincy, in accordance with his father’s wishes.
“My dad’s dream was to have the chieftaincy and the land returned to the Fynns. We have to keep that dream alive,” he said.
Fynn said they were in negotiations with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights for the settlement of their land claim, which was lodged in 2005.
“There was a lot of acrimony with Luthuli, who is [a member of the] IFP, when my father passed away. So, we have met with Prince Buthelezi to try to help with reconciling,” said Fynn.
“We have also requested a meeting with Isilo [King Goodwill Zwelithini] to ask for his intervention.
“We believe that our claim is legitimate and our rights as a family, which we were stripped of by the apartheid regime, will be restored,” he added.
In his Paia application, Fynn said KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube had caused an “undue delay” in releasing the commission’s findings.
He argued that his father was supposed to have been notified of the hearing’s outcomes before his passing.
Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso did not respond to emails and calls from City Press this week.