Land claim members want to see Zuma to resolve 15-yr-old case

2014-02-21 00:00

MEMBERS of the Qedumona Community Land Claim are angry and demanding to see President Jacob Zuma in a bid to resolve their long-standing land claim.

This was said during a meeting on the lack of progress regarding the land claim, which is still unresolved after 15 years.

The meeting was held in the Nxamalala Community Hall near Mpophomeni.

Community members are particularly frustrated by the provincial Department of Land Affairs officials who, they say, are dragging their feet in resolving the land claim.

Yesterday, people complained that the department set up meetings and failed to honour them or cancelled at the last minute.

The Qedumona Community Land Claim, claim number KRN6/2/2/E/19/0/024, covers a wide area from Cedara to Howick.

“President Zuma is aware of our claim because he visited this very hall during his court appearance [in Pietermaritzburg in 2008] and we were hoping that something was going to be done to resolve our problem now that he is the president of the country,” 102-year-old Mabeseniva Esther Madondo told the meeting.

“We want Msholozi to intervene and if he fails we are taking this to the high court because there is definitely corruption around this matter.”

Madondo said some of the people who began the land claim have since died.

Another pensioner, Mabel Mchunu (80), said, “We have been attending meetings for the past 15 years but we don’t want to win back the land belonging to our forefathers yet farmers are willing to give it back. But the challenge remains with government officials, who are playing hide and seek,” she said.

Mchunu said she spent up to R100 on transport to get to these meetings as she did not live nearby, and was running out of money to attend further meetings.

If President Zuma fails then the high court must find answers for them, Mchunu said.

Qedumona Community Land Claim Committee chairperson Jabulani Ndlovu and his committee members were at pains trying to explain to the frustrated claimants why they were having such a difficult time dealing with this matter. “We suspect that they are trying to divide us, because we are having a difficult time with officials at the department, who aren’t giving us proper explanation as to why our claim has not been processed,” he said.

Ndlovu said the department drew up an action plan according to which their claim was to have been finalised by October 2013.

He pleaded with the community not to allow outsiders to divide them because they had enough evidence to win their claim.

Ndlovu said officials were now snubbing them. “If we had cancelled today’s meeting because of officials not attending, people would have thought we are also involved with them,” he said.

Attempts to get comment from Rural Development were unsuccessful by the time of going to print.

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