Invaded land 'belongs to Malema'
Thobani Ngqulunga and Stephanie Saville, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - The owner of a tract of land in Winterskloof, Hilton, will approach the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Monday to obtain a court order to stop people from invading his land in Crompton Road.
Residents on Sunday complained that people clearing the land have told them the land “belongs to Julius Malema”.
One resident said he was called a “settler” and told that his land would also be taken.
Landowner Rusty Roodt told The Witness the police in Hilton have failed to act on his complaints that people are invading his land; and nothing has been done to halt them.
He said pegs were knocked into his land a week ago and on Sunday morning earthmoving equipment was brought in to level the land.
“I went to my office and got my rates accounts and an aerial map of my land to show the people, but they would not budge. They are just taking my land, so I am going to court.”
Richard Heathcote, who lives opposite the site, said the invaders have begun clearing right over Umgeni Water’s pipeline. “The police are doing nothing.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said that when her husband asked the crowd there what they were doing they threatened him, calling him a “settler”.
“They said they would take our land too.”
She said the invaders had removed the number plates from their vehicles so they could not be identified.
The community of Mpumuza are adamant that the land belongs to them and said there is nothing illegal about their actions because they are reclaiming what is rightfully theirs.
“We are continuing what we started when we marched on Thursday and Friday to reclaim what is ours,” said a resident who refused to be named.
Former Ward 2 councillor Sibusiso Ntuli said, “We have families that were forcefully removed from this area - like the Ngubanes, Mhlongos, Ngcobos, Mtshahes and many others. There is even a grave of the late iNkosi Zondi in this plot to prove that this area belongs to the Mpumuza tribal authority.”
He said people are simply claiming what is theirs and that if Roodt claims it is his property then he must produce the title deeds.
“We are tired of seeing black people being oppressed because we have even applied to reclaim this piece of land.”
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said the police are awaiting documentation to prove who the legal owner of the land is.
“If it is found that the land is under claim the matter will be referred to the land claims commission.”
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