Frustrated farmers’ pleas

2013-08-02 00:00

“WE only ask to be allowed to have freedom of movement and to be able to do our business.”

This was the plea to the Muden community by the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (KwaNalu).

This follows the ongoing protests by Muden community members who have continued to use huge rocks to blockade the R74 between Muden and Greytown.

Koos Marais of the KwaNalu security desk made the appeal because it had become impossible for farmers to transport their agricultural produce during the past fortnight.

“We understand that the MEC Willies Mchunu is busy with negotiations, but in the meantime we can’t tolerate lawlessness caused by individuals who have infringed the rights of others,” said Marais.

Since the protest began there has been no freedom of movement, and pupils and teachers have also been prevented from attending school. “Business cannot be done and agricultural products cannot be moved,” Marais said.

He said the protesters had even dug a hole on the road.

“Surely a lot of crime has been permitted that should have been dealt with. If anyone else had committed these crimes how quick would they have been arrested?” asked a frustrated Marais.

The protest continues despite attempts by Mchunu last week to defuse the stand-off in the area.

This week he again expressed concern at the continued blockade of roads, violence and stone-throwing, saying it had a negative impact on the economy of the farming towns.

The current protests were triggered by a dispute over land ownership between the community and a local farmer, he said. The matter has since been taken to the courts. Mchunu has sent senior officials to urgently attend to the matter.

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