Fynns re­new throne quest

CityPress - - News - PADDY HARPER paddy.harper@city­press.co.za

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.

Mor­ris Fynn

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