Farm trust blames ‘third force’ for unrest

2010-04-08 00:00

THE Mayibuye Trust, which has been accused by the Ximba community it represents of misappropriating R36 million, has described the accusations as the work of a “third force intent on destabilising the progress of the community”.

The trust manages over 5000 ha of land near Cato Ridge on behalf of the community that put claims on the land. They received the land in 2007.

Last month, the community staged a protest march against the trust after it emerged that the trust is planning to lease part of the area to a developer to build lodges and a game farm.

In a memorandum to the police, the community accused trust members of stealing R36 million, which they claim was paid by the developer for the area.

They also said the agreement with the developer contradicts what the community had agreed when they launched the claim for the land.

The community said they had agreed to designate the area as a residential, farming and cattle grazing area, but the trust had unilaterally decided to open a game reserve in that area.

One of the community members, Madodenzani Ntuli, said that although the trust was mandated to manage the land on behalf of the community, it has never kept them informed about developments regarding the land.

“We only learned that the trust had entered into an agreement with a developer to develop a game farm in that area when they called the meeting to launch the game farm,” said Ntuli.

He said the community believes that the members of the trust have profited from the arrangement with the developer.

“We want this whole thing investigated because we believe a lot of things are going wrong.”

Myboy Maphanga, the chairman of the trust, said the community is mistaken because the trust has not received any money from the developer.

“The amount they must be referring to is R32 million that was paid by Land Affairs to the farmers for the land, and that money never came to the trust.”

He blamed a third force.

“The community has never asked for any clarification on anything which would have suggested we were doing something wrong; they simply marched against us. I believe there is another force at play which is trying to destabilise what we are doing.”

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