‘Free land for ANC card holders’
‘Bogus’ committee deceives 30 land invaders in ward 26
CAN an ANC membership card get you a plot for free on cityowned land?
Well, about 30 people thought so when they were deceived by an allegedly bogus ward committee into invading areas falling under Msunduzi ward 26.
The ward incorporates Prestbury, Clarendon, Boughton and Blackridge.
Land at Peace Valley and on the edge of Blackridge and Prestbury bordering Mpumuza, were all invaded recently by individuals on a piecemeal basis.
Bhekamasoka Shabalala, who admitted that he was among a group of four responsible for giving out plots of land in these areas, told The Witness an ANC membership card or a R40 joining fee was all that one needed to be given land.
“It was the people who had started invading the land. As the committee we then decided to help them acquire land because we had failed to stop the invasion.
“If you do not have an ANC membership card, you must produce your identity document and a R40 joining fee and we will help you,” he said.
Asked why people needed ANC membership in order to be given land, he said the area in question belonged to the ANC and also that the committee was on a mission to increase the ANC membership in the area.
Shabalala conceded that he has been told by the municipality that the ward committee he claims to be leading, is not recognised by them or by ANC structures.
Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed neither Shabalala or three other members of the allegedly “bogus” committee were members of the officially recognised ward committee, the election of which is handled by the office of the speaker.
“The matter has been reported to council and we are addressing it accordingly. The issue of land invasion is a criminal matter and we therefore view it very seriously as a municipality,” said Mafumbatha.
ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma said the ANC distances itself from Shabalala and his associates.
“Land invasion is antiANC policy. That is why the municipality took a tough stance when there were land invasions in other wards. It is thuggery and cannot be supported by ANC,” he said, adding that the law must be enforced against trans “Land invasion is antiANC policy. That is why the municipality took a tough stance when there were land invasions in other wards. It is thuggery and cannot be supported by ANC.” gressors.
Ward councillor Ross Strachan said the illegal sale and allocation of land that is under the municipality is a direct contravention of the Unlawful Occupation of Land Act of 1998.
“Irrespective of political background or ethnicity, the law is the law and cannot be broken. There is a serious problem with housing in our city and this needs to be addressed and the correct procedures need to be followed in conjunction with the law,” he said.
“I have urged the municipality to open up a criminal case with SAPS/Crime Intelligence against guilty parties and investigate further into the land invasion crisis swamping our city,” he said.