Farm dispute adjourned

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A DISPUTE between Karkloof farmer Charles MacGillivray and two occupants on his farm who have been temporarily stopped from continuing to build a house on his property, has been adjourned for an indefinite period in the high court.

MacGillivray obtained a temporary interdict against father and son Thulani and Siya Ma­hlaba recently, stopping them from continuing their building operations on his farm.

When they ignored the court order Judge Daya Pillay handed them suspended jail sentences for contempt of court.

Yesterday their attorney, Minnesh Singh, filed court papers on behalf of the two men opposing the original interdict.

In his affidavit Thulani Mahlaba said he had lived on Gartmore farm since 1997 and enjoyed various rights in return for providing labour.

Then in 2006 he was “summarily dismissed” and after that his relationship with the farmer soured, he said.

He maintains that he, and his family, still have the right to reside on the farm as “occupiers” under the Extension of Security of Tenure Act of 1997.

He also maintains that he has the right to erect the building that is the subject of the dispute because it is not a new dwelling, but merely a “reconstruction” of his existing residence.

Mahlaba said he and his son demolished the original building because it had fallen into disrepair and was damaged when a tree fell on it.

The “new” section is smaller (though higher) than the original building, but will be subdivided so he and his wife don’t have to share a room with their four children and one grandchild.

Mahlaba said the constitution provides that everyone is entitled to have their dignity respected and protected and it also gives everyone the right to adequate housing.

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