Mpushini valley: claimants win first battle

2011-10-05 00:00

THE land claimants in the Mpushini valley in the Ashburton area, who alleged they were swindled of their land by a local tribal chief Inkosi Simphiwe Majozi, have won the first round in their bid to reclaim the ownership of that land.

The four families, the Mchunu, Mlambo, Mthembu and Mncubes claimed they were the legal owners of the vast vacant land in the Mpushini valley which comprises of several farms.

They claimed the land was illegally given to Majozi, who also started to profit from it by selling plots.

Last week the four families, assisted by the land rights organisation, the Association for Rural Development (Afra), were granted a final interdict by the court, preventing Majozi from selling any plots.

The interdict was granted without any opposition from Majozi.

Majozi previously said he alone had put a claim on that land and the land was legally handed over to him by the department. He said selling plots was within his rights.

Thabiso Mbhense (Afra land rights legal unit) said the interdict was the first step in restoring the land back to its rightful owners.

“The court has granted the order which is permanent that Majozi cannot sell any land in that area anymore.

“He [Majozi] did not even oppose the application in court because he knew that he did not have any grounds.”

Mbense said they were now preparing for a second showdown with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to get the decision by the department to award the land to Majozi to be reversed.


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