Nelson Mandela Foundation

In May this year doctoral candidate Hilary Lynd, who has been assisted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in her research into South African and Soviet history, wrote a journal article titled ‘The Peace Deal: The Formation of the Ingonyama Trust and the IFP Decision to Join South Africa’s 1994 Elections’. Ms Lynd is at the University of California, Berkeley, and spent some time going through the Foundation’s archives, looking particularly at documents from the Notebooks and Notes Collection relevant to this particular area of study. 

Ms Lynd’s research follows dialogues on the Ingonyama Trust, hosted by the Foundation.

In October 2019 the Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted a roundtable on the theme ‘The Origins of the Ingonyama Trust and its implications for the future of Land Reform in South Africa.’ Following that discussion, the Foundation, the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and the Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC), based at the University of Cape Town, held a seminar to engage on, and consider in more depth issues that arose from the discussion.  

Founded in 1994, The Ingonyama Trust is a corporate entity established to administer the land traditionally owned by the Zulu people, for the benefit, material welfare and social well-being of the Zulu nation, who continue to occupy the land as they historically have done.  

In November 2020 there was a dialogue entitled ‘The Future of Ingonyama Trust: Substantive Accountability in a post-COVID era’ in collaboration with LARC, PARI with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), with speakers Reverend Mavuso Mbhekiseni, a veteran community activist from Makhasaneni, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, who has campaigned against mining deals in the area; Zenande Booi, who heads activities within LARC’s land stream; lawyer and senior research associate at LARC, Janet Bellamy; and finally, as  facilitator, Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi who holds a Masters of Philosophy in English and Comparative Literature and has been working in various academic and activist capacities with interests in areas related to the topic at hand. The discussion sought to answer whether the Trust has been able to support member communities and their beneficiaries during the time that Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown ravaged the social, political and economic landscape in rural South Africa.