New turn in land claim battle

2009-02-18 00:00

Police at Greytown are investigating claims that a local landowner "chased" a female farm dweller out of her home on Sunday, and sprayed her mud house with a "bluish powder" she suspects was poison.

The alleged victim, Joyce Masikane, whose family is involved in a long-standing dispute with the farmer over a land claim, said she was too afraid to return home after the incident and took shelter on a neighbouring property.

"It was sprinkled everywhere - in the water supply, under the bed, on our food," she said.

Masikane and Jane Bennett, owner of the next-door property, immediately notified the authorities.

When the police arrived to investigate the allegations on Monday morning, they found a dead cat in the house, which was taken to the local SPCA for tests to determine the cause of death.

One of Masikane's children was allegedly taken to Northdale hospital with symptoms of vomiting and respiratory complications after allegedly eating some food when he arrived home on Monday afternoon.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said that a case of attempted murder and malicious damage to property has been opened.

Last year, The Witness reported that the same landowner lodged an assault charge against Masikane's 17-year-old daughter, Dudu.

The family too laid charges against the landowner for the same incident.

The case is currently pending and both the Masikane family members and the landowner face criminal charges arising from that incident.

The landowner, however, strongly denied the latest allegations levelled against him.

He told The Witness he was at home all day on Sunday and never when near the Masikane residence because of a court order that prohibits him from doing so.

"I saw her at around 10 in the morning walking about four kilometres from my house, and that's the only time I saw her," he insisted.

Northdale Hospital could not confirm if Masikane's son was in fact admitted.

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