The Herald (South Africa)

Vil­lagers in­vade land near Kwel­erha

- Msindisi Fengu

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.”

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