Limpopo community wins millions in land claim

2017-02-15 12:50
Farm land. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Farm land. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Polokwane - A Limpopo community dispossessed of its land four decades ago will this week receive R35.3m as compensation for damages it suffered during forced evictions.

The office of the regional land claims commissioner on Wednesday said 118 Mamaila Bolobedu families displaced from their land of birth will each receive an amount of R299 093.68.

Provincial spokesperson Avhashoni Magada said: "The compensation comes as a result of the commission having finalised the land claim lodged by Kgosigadi on behalf of the community authorised through a resolution that was signed by the tribe."

Research conducted by the office of the regional land claims commissioner established that the Mamaila Bolebedu were removed from the claimed properties in 1968 after the apartheid government enacted the Black Resettlement Act of 1954.

"The tribe was ordered to vacate the land. It was relocated to an area which was allocated on the basis of ethnic affiliation."

The claimed properties are farms Verschfontein 233LT (R/E and Portion 1), Elandsfontein 235 LT and Sterkfontein 203 LT in Greater Letaba Local Municipality in Limpopo Province.

'Money can't restore dignity'

Magada said the commission conducted a workshop at Mamaila Bolobedu Tribal Hall with the claimants.

"They indicated that they need alternative compensation because the claimed properties are not feasible to restore."

When the Mamaila Bolobedu owned the land they had bigger portions of land and sufficient space to farm.

"They were farming with mangoes, maize, cattle and goats. During the removal, they left mangoes trees, graves and houses," said Magada.

"They started building new houses at the place they were given," said Magada.

However, the area allocated to them was so small it was difficult for them to continue farming as they did previously.
 
"There is no amount of money that can wipe away the pain suffered when they were forcefully taken away from their ancestral land. Similarly there is no amount of money that can restore the dignity lost during such dispossessions."

Read more on:    polokwane  |  land  |  land claims

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