As the pressing issue of Land Reform in South Africa becomes ever more urgent (at least from the ANC's perspective) in the run up to the national election next year, the complexities of the problem get only more, well, complex.
The last time we posted on this issue, we stopped at 1913, with the Native Land Act. This was the act that stopped all blacks from owning land or property anywhere in South Africa and in many cases, they were literally removed from it overnight and sent to 'homelands'.
With the advent of democracy in 1994, the newly elected government sought to restore 'tribal land' to the indigenous chiefs, which they were to run as benevolent fiefdoms within the constitution of South Africa. The chiefs became the sole owners of the land on which their people lived (at the time with the consent of the people).
Under Zuma, these chiefdoms were supported and sustained, particularly if they were Zulu, directly by government funds.
Now that Land Reform is firmly on the table, government, now under Ramaphosa, wants to redistribute this tribal land equitably amongst the residents and remove it from the sole ownership of the chiefs.
Of course, the chiefs are very unhappy about this, believing their ownership of the land is an inherited right, and that they now have to fight for 'their land' a second time (first against the whites and now against the blacks).
The plot (pardon the pun) thickens...