The Herald (South Africa)
Villagers invade land near Kwelerha
ABOUT 400 angry residents of Tuba village near Kwelerha invaded more than 10ha of land yesterday.
Armed with spades, sticks and hammers, the villagers claimed the land near East London belonged to their forefathers.
The group built a shack next to the gate of a privately owned business while police kept watch.
The owner of the business, Karl Human Taxidermy, declined to comment.
The crowd continued cutting plots and installing poles to mark their boundaries.
Farmer Kevin Knock, who met residents on the scene, said the villagers had also invaded some of his land.
“What’s happening is that they are cutting plots in the land and I’m also affected,” he said.
“This is unsettling. We have a lot of [locals] employed by farmers.
“It’s important that the land [reform] department comes forward and intervenes.”
Tuba village community executive committee chairman Mzukisi Skritshi said residents had resolved to take the matter into their own hands because there was not enough space for young people to build homes.
“We have a situation of households with parents living with their children who are supposed to have their own houses.
“They cannot build their houses anywhere because there is no land available for them.
“These farmers claim that this is their land but it is not. This has been our land for years.”