Ingonyama a side issue
As far as land dispossession is concerned, the hullabaloo about the Ingonyama Trust is a very trivial matter compared to land seizure by the colonialists. According to SA History Online, land was seized from the so-called Khoi-Khoi and San communities to increase Dutch grazing pastures in the Cape. British took over the Cape Colony in 1806. Colonial expansion and dispossession went further into the interior. Through powerful weaponry the British managed to establish “Native reserves” from as early as 1848 in Natal under Theophilus Shepstone. These became a feature of British colonisation across the continent.
Land dispossession was entrenched by enacting the 1913 Land Act which completely denied Africans access to their land, confining them to reserves. These reserves were expanded over time to become Bantustans or homelands under the apartheid government.
Hence fighting over the Ingonyama Trust is a waste of time. President Cyril Ramaphosa is correct when he says that the Ingonyama Trust land is safe with its keepers. We are not concerned about the land given to Bantustan leaders, but with the land seized via the powerful weaponry of our former colonists, from Cape Town to Limpopo.
We know many hectares of land belong to private people. Some do not even reside in the country and are foreign citizens.
Such land must be given back to the people, and of course, as the apartheid government did for white citizens, agricultural programmes must be devised to empower black people in land utilisation. We do not want land already in black people’s hands. Facts must not be distorted. Whenever there are such debates people try to shift the focus. – Xola Mkuyana, Bhisho