EFF Mpumalanga leader arrested over land occupation Facebook posts

2017-01-31 16:34
(EFF website)

(EFF website)

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Cape Town – A beautiful piece of land close to work and town, with views of rolling green hills – this is seemingly what EFF Mpumalanga leader Collen Sedibe offered to willing party members as part of a "land distribution programme".

Based on his Facebook posts at the weekend, all they had to do was arrive at Hillsview, near White River, at 08:00 on Sunday, to receive a free stand.

The offer was open to those who could not afford to buy houses or rent flats, but who wanted to live closer to town.

However, the land under offer belongs to the Mbombela Municipality.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said a number of people showed up. The municipality opened a case at the Nelspruit police station as soon as the message surfaced on social media.

Sedibe, 45, and EFF councillor Cyril Chuene, 40, were charged with trespassing, incitement to public violence, as well as other charges under the Regulation of Gatherings Act.

"The message was viewed as inciting people to commit an illegal act of occupying land unlawfully, hence the arrest of the duo," said Hlathi.

They appeared in the White River Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were granted R500 bail each. The bail conditions were that they could not be found committing any crime and should not interfere with the investigation.

Mpumalanga Community Safety MEC Pat Ngomane welcomed their arrests. He said leaders should educate their followers to abide by the law and not encourage hooliganism.

Land redistribution was a sensitive matter which cut across many generations, particularly in rural areas. "We cannot allow any backwardness to prevail with regard to land," he said.

The case against the two was postponed to February 20 for further investigation.

Read more on:    eff  |  land  |  politics 2017
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