Hawks probe NC land cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - News - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF REPORTER

THE HAWKS are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of al­leged cor­rup­tion re­lat­ing to land that was sup­posed to be ap­por­tioned to poor and un­der­priv­i­leged farm­ers at the Kil­lar­ney com­mon­age near Barkly West.

The 133.5288 hectares of land on Har­ris­dale farm was pur­chased for R9 mil­lion and is the prop­erty of Dik­gat­long Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

A land ben­e­fi­ciary, Wil­liam Moth­ibi, claimed that the iden­ti­ties of ben­e­fi­cia­ries were used, with­out their knowl­edge or con­sent, to form a rep­re­sen­ta­tive body – Kil­lar­ney Co-op­er­a­tive – that in turn sourced mil­lions of rand worth of fund­ing and do­na­tions as well as trac­tors and ve­hi­cles.

“This is while the poor ben­e­fi­cia­ries re­main pen­ni­less,” said Moth­ibi. “The most that ben­e­fi­cia­ries ever re­ceived was R208 per month, de­spite the fact that the farm is sit­u­ated near the river and has many as­sets and re­sources.

“I there­fore sub­mit that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity failed to ad­min­is­ter the com­mon­age farm and its mov­able as­sets in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions as con­tem­plated in the no­tar­ial deed.”

Moth­ibi added that ben­e­fi­cia­ries were en­ti­tled to share in the min­eral wealth of the land.

“Land was to be al­lo­cated for the con­struc­tion of houses, the pro­mo­tion of tourism and eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties to up­lift the com­mu­nity.”

He in­di­cated that the pre­vi­ous man­age­ment body was not aware that Har­ris­dale farm was sup­posed to be a com­mon­age.

“The farm is be­ing used by the same farm­ers since the farm was pur­chased in 2003. I am

THE DEPART­MENT HAS NOT REG­IS­TERED

ANY COM­MU­NAL PROP­ERTY AS­SO­CI­A­TION ON THE PROP­ERTY

de­mand­ing clar­ity be­cause we as the in­di­gent and poor are not ben­e­fit­ing from the use of the farm.”

He stated that the prop­erty was only sup­posed to be used as a com­mon­age.

“I re­quested the in­ter­ven­tion of the premier as he has the right to de­mand that the land be trans­ferred to provin­cial gov­ern­ment, if the owner of the land has failed in its du­ties to en­sure that the prop­erty is ad­min­is­tered prop­erly.”

In re­sponse to an en­quiry, the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Land Re­form and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment in­formed Moth­ibi that the land was pur­chased for emerg­ing farm­ers in the Dik­gat­long re­gion.

“The depart­ment has not reg­is­tered any com­mu­nal prop­erty as­so­ci­a­tion on the prop­erty. Once the depart­ment pur­chased the land for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, it now be­comes the prop­erty of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and falls en­tirely un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

The act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager of Dik­gat­long Mu­nic­i­pal­ity could not be reached for com­ment.

Hawks provin­cial spokesper­son Nomthandaz­o Mnisi stated that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter was “at an ad­vanced stage”.

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