Fraught land claim finalised

2010-11-24 00:00

LAND Claims commissioner Sibusiso Gamede has moved swiftly to diffuse the simmering tensions between the Gujini communities and game farmer Peter Channing, which have threatened to deteriorate to violence there.

Gamede visited the area two weeks ago and was told that due to the slow progress of the land claims filed by the community over 10 years ago and the poor relations between the community and the farmer, tensions had reached boiling point.

Already, two people working for Channing as security guards had been attacked and killed in what is widely believed to be an incident related to the land problems.

On his visit, Gamede reportedly told community members that the claim would be settled last week. This created confusion as the spokesperson for the commissioner Godfrey Mdluli said the commissioner had said he would move to settle the claim quickly to dissolve tension.

However, several community leaders and the farmer told The Witness that the claim would be settled by the end of this month and the community members would be able to take over the farm at the beginning of December.

Channing also confirmed that he is expected to move out of the area by the end of the month. “I received information telling me that I will be paid by this week and need to be out by the first of next month.”

Mdluli would not be drawn on the new date; he said they will only go public with the details once the matter has been finalised.

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