‘Test land tenure in court’

If the Ingonyama Trust Board were to mount a court challenge to Parliament’s attempts to reform tenure rights on land the trust controls in KwaZulu-Natal, it might be a “blessing in disguise”, as it would put the matter before the Constitutional Court for a definitive ruling.

This is according to ANC MP Pumzile Mnguni, the deputy chair of Parliament’s land reform portfolio committee, who told the Mail & Guardian this week that a court-ordered solution might be “all the better”.

“If there were to be an unfortunate situation where any of the key parties — the department [of land reform and rural development], the presidency, the ITB [Ingonyama Trust Board] — were to take the other to court, it could be a blessing in disguise,” Mnguni said.

“The Constitutional Court would be much more objective than any of the parties concerned and it would make a landmark ruling now as to what are the rights of people, in particular in terms of the Bill of Rights,’’ Mnguni said.

“The court would be the final arbiter … it is a very mindful custodian of the Constitution in terms of people’s rights in our secular state.’’

The ITB and King Goodwill Zwelithini have threatened to go to court to stop the recommendations of Parliament’s high-level panel from being implemented.

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