Members irked by dissolved land trust

2010-07-06 00:00

THE recent pronouncement by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reforms that the conflict-riddled Slindokuhle Trust in Weenen will be dissolved has irked many of the trust members, who say the decision rests with members only, not the department.

The trust holds land valued at more than R46 million on behalf of six communities — KwaMajola, Entabeni, Nkaseni, Mahlabathini, KwaMadondo and Ekucasheni.

Of the eight farms the trust received through the department, only three are still fully operational after they were rented out; the other five are redundant owing to disuse.

The decision to dissolve the trust was apparently taken during a chaotic meeting in Weenen recently, which ended with trust chairperson Ndoshi Masoka being assaulted by community members in full view of a Land Affairs official.

Sources said that only one of the six communities advocated for the trust to be disbanded into smaller trusts managing each farm.

Nokuthokoza Ndlela of the Rural Development and Land Reform Department confirmed that the chaotic meeting had resulted in the trust being dissolved. She said the formal procedures have yet to take place.

Trust member Zondo Ndimande said the decision to dissolve the trust rests with its members.

“At the meeting, only one group of claimants was demanding that the trust be dissolved, and the other five communities were opposed to the idea,” he said.

He said that fraud and corruption was behind the motion to dissolve the trust. adding that almost R195 000 belonging to the trust members as proceeds from their rented farms cannot be accounted for.

Weenen Police confirmed they are investigating a case of fraud and are awaiting an audit of the records.

Masoka lambasted the decision to dissolve the trust, saying that it was the trust members’ right as owners of the land to make the call.

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