Hilton land grab: Farmer commends iNkosi

2011-11-03 00:00

A PROMINENT businessman and farmer has commended the decision by iNkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi to take the legal route in his attempt to claim land in Hilton at the centre of a land grab furore on Sunday.

Speaking to The Witness, Ed­mundt (Rusty) Roodt said, “Lot 106, together with lot 109 situated next to the land where the invasion took place is my land. It is property that I bought from Ovland Pty (Ltd) in 1993.”

Roodt said, “I want to congratulate iNkosi Zondi for taking the legal, respectable route for a land claim.”

He slammed police for not taking action on Sunday, despite his producing the rates account and map to prove that the land is indeed his.

“Nobody keeps title deeds under their beds. Police wanted me to produce title deeds on Sunday, even when I told them those documents were with my lawyers, and they did not ask for title deeds from those who were invading my property,” said Roodt.

He said he would not have invested in the proposed residential development of the land without checking with the land claims commission if there was claim to it.

Roodt showed The Witness a map of his land of about 82 hectares.

“The land in question was occupied by Samuel Greene and his family in 1873 and nobody was living there,” he said. Roodt said a land claim is valid if the claimant’s family had occupied and were removed off the land after 1913.

“If iNkosi Zondi wants to have a successful land claim, he could pursue a place called Tutuluka near World’s View where his great-grand parents were forcibly removed,” said Roodt.

He said the legal route is to contact the Land Affairs Department, and not by invading the property.

“My proposed development would take about 25 to 30 years to be complete and if iNkosi Zondi wants me to show him the plans, I am prepared to do it so that, if he wins the claim of the land, he can see the progress we have made on it,” said Roodt.

Xolani Ndlovu, who was involved in the land grab on Sunday, is adamant the land belongs to the people of Mpumuza.

“Roodt always claimed that it is his property, all we wanted to see was a title deed because all these years he has always said so without any proof,” said Ndlovu.

He said the property was never sold to the Greene family, but lent by the chief of that time. “We are still going to fight for the land of the people of Mpumuza,” he added.

He said there are graves on the land that prove that people lived there and were removed.

thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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