KZN farmer's bid to evict foreign nationals continues

2016-06-04 08:52
The refugee children at the Hope Farm attend a class in September 2015. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

The refugee children at the Hope Farm attend a class in September 2015. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg – The case involving a Cato Ridge family and 14 foreign nationals, who allegedly refuse to leave their Hope Farm, is back in court on Monday.

Rae and Andrew Wartnaby filed an eviction notice at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in a bid to claim their property back.

Rae Wartnaby told News24 on Friday that she and her eight children had been living in a place of safety for seven weeks because they feared for their lives.

“I am keeping my children safe until the refugees leave the farm.”

Wartnaby claimed that the family had become prisoners in their own home when one of the refugees, a Burundian man named Vital, who is apparently the leader of the group, refused to let the family leave the property on more than one occasion.

“He stands at the gate and controls access into the farm. He is helping himself to relief food that is for disadvantaged communities.”

Xenophobic attacks

In July last year the family opened their 20-hectare farm in Killarney Valley, to about 143 foreign nationals, including children, who were displaced during xenophobic attacks in the province.

The family ensured that the refugees, most of them from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, had shelter, were fed, clothed, and that their children were educated, Andrew Wartnaby previously said.

Things took a turn for the worst when government officials told the family they were housing the refugees illegally and that they had contravened a land-usage by-law as their farm was strictly zoned as agricultural land.

They were given until September 2015 to evict the refugees.


In December, some of the foreigners demanded to be relocated to Canada, or sent back to their home countries.

They allegedly threatened to attack the farmer and harm his family.

In March, the family asked 101 of the refugees to leave after relations soured.

In May, the family asked the remaining refugees to vacate their farm and after they allegedly refused, they approached the court.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  refugees

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.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
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.