Com­mit­tee cau­tions on king’s Trust Bill

In­clud­ing king’s blood rel­a­tives and ex­tended fam­ily ‘ too wide’

The Witness - - NEWS - SA­BELO NSELE • sabel o.nsele@wit­ness.co.za

THE Royal House Trust Bill, which could pave the way for less costly man­age­ment of King Good­will Zwelethini’s af­fairs, was ap­proved yes­ter­day by the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on the of­fice of the pr emier.

The bill, which took two years to be fi­nalised, will now be tabled at the KZN leg­is­la­ture for de­bate and adop­tion.

How­ever, the com­mit­tee sup­ported the bill with “cau­tion”, warn­ing the list of ben­e­fi­cia­ries to be sub­mit­ted by King Good­will Zwelithini could yet prove to be a headache.

Ac­cord­ing to the amended bill that was dis­cussed at the com­mit­tee’s meet­ing at the leg­is­la­ture yes­ter­day, the list of ben­e­fi­cia­ries will in­clude the king’s blood rel­a­tives and ex­tended fam­ily.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Cyril Xaba warned by us­ing words such as blood r el­a­tives and ex­tended fam­ily, the bill had left the sub­ject open ended. He said the w ords used w ere too wide. EFF MPL Vusi Khoza pro­posed the com­mit­tee leave the bill as it is, sa ying chang­ing it would be seen as lim­it­ing the king .

“It will look like we are say­ing there should not be more than 15 peo­ple or 10 peo­ple on the list. I un­der­stand where Xaba is com­ing from, but let us give the king the ben­e­fit of the doubt,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to se­nior le­gal ad­viser Daph­ney Khuzwayo, Premier Willies Mchunu can con­sult with the king to amend the list if he feels it is too wide. The com­mit­tee mem­bers raised con­cerns on what grounds or what would guide the premier in de­ter­min­ing whether the list pro­vided by the king was wide or not.

“Un­less the law­mak­ers set clear pa­ram­e­ters. If the law­mak­ers leave it open ended like we are do­ing now, it leaves it open ended ,” said Xaba.

Mchunu said he c ould fore­see chal­lenges that may arise. “Like the ex­tended fam­ily. It can even mean the rel­a­tives of the wives,” he said.

The bud­get of the king has in the r ecent past caused a pub­lic out­cry. The Royal House­hold Trust, which han­dles the king’s bud­get, re­mains in sham­bles. The trust con­tin­ues to fail to gen­er­ate its own rev­enue and de­pends on pro­vin­cial govern­ment fund­ing and will eceiver R58,8mil­lion in the 2017/18 year, or over R161 000 a da y on a ve­r­age.

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