A KwaZulu-Natal farmer’s neighbours have handed him his marching orders. Jaap de Villiers (76) of the farm Uitval just outside Vryheid is considering legal action following an eviction notice and resulting intimidation of his workers by a group of demonstrators.
The demonstrators have given De two weeks to vacate the land before they claim it for their own use and construct houses on the property. I t is believed the Ngome police had to summon back-up to ensure the demonstration, in which more than 100 people participated, progressed peacefully.
Police had to escort a delegation of demonstrators to the farmhouse where a memorandum was handed to De Villiers. According to a Beeld report Villiers is accused of poisoning people living on the adjacent tribal land and of killing their livestock. D e Villiers’ farm is bordered on three sides by tribal land after former King Bheki Zulu purchased two commercial farms many years ago. said that no land claim has been lodged on his farm, but the demonstrators were adamant that Uitval was part of the two farms that Zulu bought.
KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture/Landbou Union (Kwanalu) CEO Sandy la Marque commented on the incident, saying no form of land-grab will be tolerated and that they urged De Villiers to take legal action and lay charges against the demonstrators. “There are many issues that contribute toward such actions.
The slow progress of land reform and the disregard of land rights by both owners and claimants have contributed to the sort of emotional outbursts we saw at Uitval,” she said. La Marque said in an effort to address the problems Kwanalu had enlisted the help of the MEC for Land Affairs. “On 2 October we will host a provincial forum to address these issues.” – Cornelia du Plooy