MPs condemn KZN farm invasion, violence

Staff Writer | Jul 11, 2019
Acts of criminality ‘do not advance’ the process of land reform or restitution, and ‘diminish the integrity’ of land claims, says parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

The committee ‘condemns in the strongest terms the criminal acts arising from the recent attack and invasion of a 7 500-hectare farm in KwaZulu-Natal, valued at over R300 million’, the Parliamentary Communication Services (PCS) said in a statement.

The committee expressed particular concern that the farm manager ‘was assaulted and subsequently hospitalised’.

It was also alleged that ‘there is … division within the Mathulini Communal Property Association (CPA) at Mtwalume where a certain group of people had approached the Land Claims Court over claims to the same land’.

The statement quoted committee chairperson Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela as saying: ‘There are sufficient provisions in the land reform process to deal with disputes and counter claims. Such claims still have full recourse to procedural justice and other legal provisions. We cannot condone acts of criminality as these do not advance the process of land reform or restitution. Such vile acts are not only uncalled for, but also further diminish the integrity of claims or counter claims.

‘We appeal for calm and call for a criminal investigation into this incident so that the culprits may face the full might of the law. Whilst we understand that the land restitution process is highly emotive and tied to the trauma, pain and suffering arising from historic dispossession, we can never allow violence to define a process that is intended to be restorative, healing and advancing reconciliation and social cohesion. We appeal to all individuals and communities involved in land claims and restitution processes not to take the law into their own hands, regardless of the circumstances.’

Mandela said the committee ‘must also caution against political parties making cheap mileage out of a very volatile situation. We urge for maturity as irresponsible statements and grand standing will only ferment a cycle of acrimony, criminality and violence. We must do all in our power to stem illegal farm invasions and ensure that such acts of criminality do not derail the legitimate process of restitution, nor cause hardship and suffering to the rightful beneficiaries of such claims.’


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