Protesters threaten to disrupt Dusi race

2009-01-02 00:00

The 2009 Dusi canoe marathon set to take place from January 15 to 17 is under threat due to a land claim dispute in the Inanda Dam area.

A demonstration of 800 people will take place in kwaBasane on January 11 and it is uncertain when the 24-year-old battle for the land will end.

“We cannot stop the marathon, but our march will affect the canoeists indirectly because we will be in the same area,” said organiser Brian Kabashi.

“We have written a letter to the municipality indicating our intention to express our anger over having our land stolen. We do not need any permission to be on the land because it is ours,” said Kabashi.

Three tribal families, the Ngcolosis, Quadis and Maphethinis, comprising over 1 000 people, lost their homes in the area.

It is alleged that they did not receive the R5,7 million in compensation for the land.

Dusi spokesman Ray de Vries commented: “We [the Dusi organisers] did not attend the meeting that was held in Hillcrest [yesterday] because the Dusi has got absolutely nothing to do with [the land claim]. The Dusi has been an annual sporting event for the past 58 years. We did not feel the need to attend the meeting.”

Although it has been impossible to obtain any comment from the Hillcrest police station, it is understood that members of the Hillcrest crime prevention unit attended the meeting held yesterday.

Having done so, they will arrange for a police contingent to monitor the situation if such a protest takes place.

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