Problems for S. Africa-Swazi deal
South Africa's proposal to transfer land and people to neighboring Swaziland is beset with mounting problems. But Pretoria shows no signs yet of abandoning the idea, Monitor correspondent Paul Van Slambrouck reports.Skip to next paragraph
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The most recent setback is a decision by the country's highest court that Pretoria acted illegally in taking control of part of the KwaZulu black ''homeland'' in preparation for turning it over to Swaziland. The court ruled the action ''null and void'' because South Africa did not consult with KwaZulu.
The controversial land deal is aimed ultimately at making nearly 1 million South African blacks citizens of Swaziland. It has sparked widespread resistance among not only the blacks affected, but also among supporters of the government's own National Party. Critics see the proposal as a blatant attempt by South Africa's white minority government to reduce the number of blacks in this country.
The proposal has been further muddied by the death in August of the Swaziland monarch, King Sobhuza II. He had a keen personal interest in the plan, which to him represented a reunification of the Swazi people.
Still, indications are that both Swaziland and South Africa intend to press ahead with the plan, albeit perhaps in a modified form. Pretoria says it will study the court decision to determine further action involving KwaZulu, and has appointed a commission to study that aspect of the transfer deal.