‘Most land claimants’ lied

2011-08-05 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Land Claims Commission is under siege from the Ugu region community members, who say they have not received the financial compensation due to them as part of the land claim process.

The commission, however, says many fraudulent claims have been submitted.

Yesterday, two buses transported community members to the commission’s offices in Pietermaritzburg, where they demanded an explanation of the delay in the financial settlement. The community claimed land as part of the Masimenge community claim.

On Wednesday, another Ugu community with a different claim also arrived at the commission’s offices in 25 minibus taxis, also demanding their settlement vouchers.

A senior commission official dismissed their demand and said the claim was settled years ago and the new claims were a result of fraud.

Bongani Damane, a committee member of the Masimenge Land Claim, conceded some of the people under their claim had received their vouchers.

He said the problems were mainly created by the corrupt previous land claimants committee. “Most of the people who benefited from the claim were not even from the area, and had paid monies raging from R200 or more to be put on the list of beneficiaries and the real beneficiaries were removed from the list.

“When the vouchers were being given out, the department official who liaised with the community would call your name and the people who were the legitimate claimants did not appear on the list, were told to bring their ID copies and that was the last we heard of the matter,” Damane said. He added they were also not impressed by the amount paid out by the department. “Those who received their vouchers were paid R21 000, but other communities are being paid a lot more.”

Commission official Walter Silaule, said the Masimenge claims was plagued by fraud.

“With this claim, there is currently an investigation going on. We learned that illegitimate claimants were paying money to be put on the claimants’ list. As far as we are aware this claim was settled in 2004.”

SAPS spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said a case of fraud has been opened and the police are investigating the matter. No arrests have yet been made.

Masimenge: ‘People who benefited paid money to be put on claim list’

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