Evicted Qadi families protest outside Premier’s Office

2013-11-29 00:00

MEMBERS of the Qadi Families Evicted from Inanda Dam braved the rainy weather conditions in Pietermaritzburg yesterday and protested outside the Premier’s Office.

The families, who were evicted in 1986 during the construction of Inanda Dam, were demanding to see Premier Senzo Mchunu.

Chairperson of the Qadi Families Evicted, O’Brien Gcabashe, said they wanted to see the premier because officials did not want to commit to signing an agreement to pay them R5,6 million that was issued by the Land Bank at the Ndwedwe Magistrate’s Court in 1994. “We were paid this money for compensation and it was given to the magistrates to transfer, and they transferred it to the Local Government and Traditional Affairs [Department] in 1994,” he said.

Gcabashe said they had been sent from pillar to post by government officials because the condition was that in order for the money to be paid, the “funds would be administered by a financial control committee”.

“This committee consists of the magistrate, representative of the [then] KwaZulu government and of the tribal authority, but since this committee has never been formed, our money is still in the hands of government and has even generated interest for 20 years,” he said.

Gcabashe said in 2011, former premier Zweli Mkhize promised their money would be paid, but officials have refused to sign the funds over to them as custodians of the land that was repossessed.

“We want our money, we want the government to buy us land and build us houses because that was the condition when we were removed from Inanda Dam,” he said.

The small number of protesters toyi-toyied, singing struggle songs and ridiculing politicians for not keeping their promises.

An official representing the premier came to receive a memorandum from the angry protesters.

They vowed not to vote next year unless government adhered to their demands.

Premier’s spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the memorandum would be handed to the premier and said they had been working on the claim, in conjunction with other departments, since 2011.

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