Interdict stops eviction of Muden farmer

2014-01-21 00:00

MUDEN community members were prevented from evicting a Muden farmer this weekend when the police presented them with an interdict barring them entry to his farmhouse.

On Saturday the community marched to the Hillermann farm in Muden to order the land owners and the farm manager, Martin Platt, out.

This follows their visit on Wednesday last week when they delivered a letter to the farmer through the police, demanding that he vacate the farm within two days and without any expectation of compensation.

On the same night, the community barricaded the main road between Muden and Colenso in protest.

Community leader Jeffrey Ngobese said there was now no going back. “The community went there to see if the farmer had moved out like they demanded, but he was not there and the police presented us with a court interdict.”

Ngobese said the interdict stated that community members are not allowed to approach the farmer’s house or interfere with his property.

He said their fight will continue. “He has not moved out and the fact that he is presenting us with interdicts means that he is not intending to move at all, but there is no going back now.”

He said they were in court yesterday responding to the interdict. “We will thereafter hold a community meeting sometime this week where we will discuss a way forward.”

Platt confirmed that the men had showed up again over the weekend.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said about 70 people went to the farm to seek responses regarding the memorandum they had previously submitted to the farm owner.

It is alleged that the farm owner sent his lawyers to apply for the court interdict to prevent people from blockading the road and coming to his house.

He said an interim court interdict was served and both parties had agreed to meet this week.

Sipho Dlamini of the Department of Land Affairs said there had been negotiations with the land owner that had since broken down, and that they have now approached the courts.

He said some of the challenges they faced was that the price charged for the land was too high.

There have been many intense protest incidents over the land in the past, and the community has blocked the road several times in an attempt to force the government’s hand in settling the land dispute.

They said because of the failure to settle the land claim 20 years ago, the owner has prevented the provision of water and electricity on the farm.

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