Land: States craps claim on South Africa's largest sugar farm

2010-11-03 00:00

THE state has decided to scrap the largest land claim ever made against a single land owner in the country.

Land claimants in KwaZulu-Natal claimed about 20 000 ha from Charl Senekal, South Africa’s biggest sugar farmer.

Senekal is the man on whose farm Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi pitched his tent while on a visit to South Africa.

Senekal appointed two ethnologists to investigate the claims of the Gumbi and Myeni tribes. The claims were instituted nine years ago.

The Gumbi tribe claimed all Senekal’s land north of the Mkuze River between Mkuze and Pongola, while the Myeni tribe claimed land south of the river.

The two ethnologists established that the two tribes never owned Senekal’s land.

The land has been in white hands since as early as 1880.

“I am extremely relieved,” Senekal said, while he was busy with negotiations to help the Myeni tribe plant about 5 000 ha of sugar cane.

He had offered earlier to help the tribes that claimed the land from him with a sugar cane project.

A few years ago Senekal spent about R36 million to bring water to his sugar cane fields from the Pongolapoort Dam.

Through the project he helped supply water to about 300 000 people at the same time, according to Landbouweekblad.

If the claims against Senekal had been successful, about 800 of his workers stood to have lost their jobs.

Many of them sent a petition to the land claims commissioner in which they requested that the land claim be discontinued.

Senekal, who plays a big part in uniting the farmers in the country, has a good relationship with President Jacob Zuma and King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Last year he was a member of an Agri SA delegation that visited Libya at the request of that country’s government to investigate farming possibilities there.

Recently he led a delegation to speak to the Mozambican government.

Senekal said the land claims commissioner has had to appear in the land claims court for explanations on two occasions, but did not arrive in both instances.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.