Senzeni Zokwana smokes the peace pipe

2014-06-22 15:00

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Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ­Minister Senzeni Zokwana has made peace with a village chief who accused him of illegally occupying land.

Zokwana and Nkosi Manduleli Bikitsha met yesterday so that the minister could apologise for not following proper protocol in acquiring a piece of land in a village in Willowvale, Eastern Cape.

Zokwana was allowed to occupy the piece of land in Fort Malan village and was officially welcomed as a resident.

Bikitsha, who had opened a case of illegal occupation of land against the minister and was scheduled to face him in court this week, said the minister showed remorse and that he saw no need to proceed with the case.

“I am going to speak to my lawyers with a view to dropping the case. We had no problem with Zokwana, but just the way he had done things in occupying that land under our jurisdiction,” Bikitsha said.

“But now that he has accepted his mistake and we spoke about the matter and resolved it amicably, there is no reason for him not to start contributing as a member of this community.”

Zokwana, who was shocked to see City Press at the meeting, initially tried to hide his face from the photographer.

But after the meeting, he was all smiles, saying he was happy to have been welcomed as a resident of Fort ­Malan and encouraged locals to get ­involved in agricultural activities to fight poverty.

Until a few weeks ago, Zokwana was paying his cattle herder R800 a month. After City Press revealed Vuyolwethu Ndabambi’s pittance of a salary, ­Zokwana changed his ways and now pays the 21-year-old R2?400 a month.

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