Committee cautions on king’s Trust Bill
Including king’s blood relatives and extended family ‘ too wide’
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.