Farm protest ends in ‘sweet’ talk FROM PAGE 1

2016-11-17 06:00
Protestors  block a gravel road with tree branches and burning tyres  in Verulam on Tuesday. Photo: supplied

Protestors  block a gravel road with tree branches and burning tyres  in Verulam on Tuesday. Photo: supplied

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“He confirmed there was no instruction from him to the locals to take ownership of the farms. He also denied saying that the farm in Tea Estate was for sale. We suspect there were people sowing divisions between the farmers and residents.

“I can say the meeting with the chief was fruitful and we hope the situation will return to normal after all concerned parties were addressed accordingly,” he said.

Chief Ngcobo denied allegations made about him saying that he never ordered tribal councillors to evict farmers in Verulam.

Speaking at the meeting he told farmers and some residents that there are people inciting violence in the community.

Ngcobo’s right-hand man Muntu Shangase (60), accused farmers for instigating violence in the area.

“None of this would have happened if farmers did not shoot the protesters.

Prior to the protest we warned farmers not to dump dangerous chemicals in residential areas, but they never listened. The community was angry and took to the streets.

“However, we are glad that our chief intervened and the matter was resolved,” he said.

A farmer, Willie Naicker (50), confirmed that the protesters wanted to take ownership of the farms.

“It came to our attention that there was a person inciting residents to turn against us by telling them that chief Ngcobo issued an instruction to residents to evict farmers.

“That was a blatant lie and the chief denied it at the meeting,” he said.

Police spokesperson in Verulam Captain Mark Prakasim said four farmer workers were injured.

“The farm workers were seriously injured when a group of protesters stoned them.

“Police are investigating a case of public violence. No arrests have been made at this stage.”

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