Sunday, October 11, 2009

100 Invade Limpopo Farm

Here's another problem with farm "redistribution", one that has occurred in Zim too. What happens when the black recipients aren't the right black recipients?

Tzaneen - A Limpopo farmer had to lock himself and his wife in their farmhouse on Wednesday night, after a group of about 100 people invaded their farm in Trichardtsdal, near Tzaneen in Limpopo, claiming to be the legal owners.

Farm owner Whiskey Kgabo said he saw strangers on his farm on Wednesday morning, but they left after a while.

"Late in the afternoon, 11 bakkies full of people showed up at the farmstead.

"They made a huge fire on the lawn, right in front of my house, packed out bottles of alcohol and started making music."

When Kgabo approached them to investigate, the group - who introduced themselves as the Banareng-ba-Mantjana community - informed him that they were claiming the land because they believe themselves to be the lawful owners.

Land sold in 2005

"The farm had already been sold to the state back in 2005, based on a willing buyer/willing seller agreement."

However, the government has thus far only paid R2m, which is about half of the agreed-upon selling price.

At the time, an agreement was reached whereby Kgabo could stay on the farm and continue farming until he received the rest of the money.

The land-grabbers spent the whole night celebrating on the lawn near the farmstead.

At one stage, Kgabo called the Maake police station to have the group removed.

"They came to the farm but refused to do anything because the land-grabbers said they wouldn't cause any damage to the property."

On Thursday morning, the group chased his farm labourers away while he was in town to drop his wife, Magadi, off at work.

Intimidated

By the afternoon, the police showed up at the farm again and removed the trespassers, after the land claims commissioner in Polokwane had requested their assistance.

Kgabo says an agreement was reached to hold a meeting on Saturday in order to clear up the confusion. It will be attended by the land claims commissioner, Kgabo, the police and the community.

"At least my labourers are back in the compound on the farm, but they're too scared to start working because they're being intimidated."

Beeld's attempts on Thursday to get comment from the police and the land claims commissioner were unsuccessful.

- Beeld

HAT TIP: BLACK COFFEE

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