In­gonyama a side is­sue

Daily Dispatch - - OPINION -

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

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