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Court dismissed Ingonyama Trust Appeal

Agriculture, Rural Development, and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza had no problem enforcing the Pietermaritzburg High Court’s decision that the Ingonyama Trust and its board had violated the Constitution by entering into lease agreements with Zulu monarchy subjects.

The order was issued by the court in June 2021, but the Ingonyama Trust and its board appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and their application was denied on Wednesday this week.

When the lease agreements were introduced, KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Mjabuliseni Madondo found that the trust and the board had acted illegally and in violation of the constitution.

Madondo declared that the illegality was in concluding lease agreements with beneficial owners of the land under Zulu customary law and people with Permissions To Occupy and other informal rights under the Interim Protection of Land Rights Act 31 of 1996.

Madondo also declared that the Ingonyama Trust and the board must refund all monies received under the lease agreements.

The court found that Minister Didiza failed to respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the existing property rights and security of tenure of trust-held land as required by the constitution.