Vulindlela showdown over land

2011-08-10 00:00

A SHOWDOWN is looming between inkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi of KwaMpumuza and his subjects, who are cattle farmers, over their rights to grazing land that they say is being encroached on by community members wanting to build homes.

Several cattle farmers told The Witness that for the past few years more and more people who are looking to build homes have been settling on land meant for grazing.

The land identified by the farmers as grazing land is in a mountainous area between the KwaZayeka and Payipini in the KwaMpumuza area of Vulindlela, outside Pietermaritzburg.

The land caters for an estimated 1 500 cattle.

The farmers blame the inkosi’s headmen for the problem.

They claimed that the headmen place communities inside the grazing areas, in spite of the inkosi instruction that no building will be approved on the grazing land.

One famer said, “Recently some people were on the grazing land turning the sod and marking plots.

“The area they are taking up is the only one with a stream for the animals to drink.

“Our animals are quickly running out of areas to graze in. If the human population is increasing, the livestock population is also increasing, and what are we supposed to do with all our animals?

“The worst part is that these people hate animals. Recently they poured hot water on one cow …”

The farmers warned that they will not rest until the situation is dealt with. They said they have reported the matter to the departments of Agriculture and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Inkosi Zondi said it is nonsense that his headmen were sanctioning the building of homes on land designated for grazing.

He said that the complaints were borne out of lack of respect for traditional leadership.

“There had been instances where people and the municipality have come to me to ask for land to build homes and those have not been on any grazing land.

“This is just one of the examples where people are not showing respect for traditional leadership.”

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