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R42m settlement for stolen land

By Michael Tlhakudi | Mar 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 43 ]

A FREE STATE community has received more than R42-million in compensation for their land that was forcibly taken in 1913.

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti gave the cheque to the ecstatic Sediba community in Thaba Nchu, Free State, to try and heal the injustices of the past.

This compensation, he said, was in line with the ethos of the provision of the restitution of land rights.

When handing over the cheque, Nkwinti said he hoped the dignity of the people of Sediba had been restored.

"This land was taken away from this community by the apartheid regime and we have given them what belongs to them. This indicates that we have succeeded in providing our people with their land back," Nkwinti said.

He said what happened in the past was wrong and his department needed to improve the lives of the victims.

The Sediba Reserve is one of the three native reserves in the Free State that were established in terms of the Native Land Act of 1913. The others are Thaba Nchu Reserve and Witsieshoek Reserve.

Outside these reserves blacks could not buy or rent land and neither could they acquire the right to land inside the reserves.

The settlement celebration was attended by Rural Development and Land Reform the Deputy Minister Lechesa Tsenoli, Free State premier Ace Magashule and a number of MECs from the Free State.

Beneficiaries could not hide their excitement after accepting their cheque.

Nkwinti said 511 households were expected to benefit from this financial settlement.

"This was the second phase held in a remote rural area. The first phase involved about R19-million that benefited 219 households and about R50-million more is expected to be handed out before the end of the year," Nkwinti said.

He said 23 areas were taken into consideration when the claim was validated.

All claimants are expected to provide the traditional council with identification documents in order to receive payment, the minister said.

"The residents up to this moment do not have ownership rights to the lands given to them, however, the traditional council holds the land on their behalf while they are provided with permission to occupy," he said.

The community of Sediba, led by the late Meshack Moletsane of Morago village, lodged a claim in 1997 on one of the reserves and one of the villages where residents were arrested during apartheid.

Some could not hide their excitement when the minister handed over the cheque.

One of the beneficiaries, Lydia Jammond, who was born and bred in Sediba was thrilled that her land had been restored after all these years.

She said she had waited all her life for this day to come.

"To me this is a joyful day," an elated Jammond said.

"We have finally been given our freedom back after suffering for so many years."

Jammond spoke about how they had suffered during the apartheid era.

Another resident and claimant Susan Kganare, 68, said: "We have been through a lot. The apartheid regime made us suffer in a terrible way."

She said she was going to share her experience with today's youth.

She encouraged the youth to take education seriously.

"No one is going to make it in this lifetime without being educated. Our children must be aware that without education you are nothing.

"We are happy with the compensation from the government," Kganare added.

COMMENTS [ 43 ]

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This is a good start but a start that sould of happend way back in 1994. And now we are in 2012 and the european Afrikanerbond european immigrants! that make up around just 2% are owning around 87% of Azanian peoples land which is a absolute unforgivable disgrace!!!

Mar 13, 2012 7:35 | 0 replies

Papage, I'm really interested to know what you are claiming. In the apartheid government, people were forcefull removed because the government decided they want the land for other purposes, be it giving it to someone, or using it for eg an army base. I presume it is your forefathers that were removed. Do you know why they were forcefully removed from Alex?

Mar 13, 2012 11:16 | 0 replies

Yes Oldlady2, Diepkloof and Ndafaya are 150% better that Alex, it is a case of principle here, we must be compasated for being forcefully removed, how much does it cost you to travel to Sandton from Diepkloof everyday? How many Toll Gates are you going to go pass before reaching your work place at sandton? If we were in Alex, those cost would have been avoided and we would have changed our leaving conditions in Alex. those people who are leaving there now, dont love the area at heart, they dont realy know what Alex represent, they dont care about the area. I say if our parents were left there, the place would be haven as we speak. We must be compasated like all those who were removed and now are being given millions, they too, were they leave now is much better than were they were before. We are not claiming from Blacks, we want to be compesated for being removed, if you want to know how those people leaving in Alex got there now, Arrest my case, they were never brought there by the authorities.

Mar 13, 2012 11:6 | 0 replies

Papage, isn't Soweto and Meadowlands in a much better condition than Alex? And can black claim from black?

Mar 13, 2012 10:42 | 0 replies

I call on Diepkloof and Meadowlands people, Our Parents and grand Parents were removed from Alexandria Township, the land of horny and milk and dumbed in soweto far from working places, we too desrve to be compasated. we must claim Alex back, right now that this Government wants to start charging us for travelling to work and yet they know that we were forcefully removed away from our work places. Does Zuma know this? I guess not, he is from Nkandla afterall.

Mar 13, 2012 10:39 | 0 replies

Okay that's nice but how much land did a community that NOW has only 511 households have originally and why did 219 households get less than a third of that amount?

It all seems very random. It would be interesting to find out what formula they use for these payouts and if there is any financial education that comes with it.

Mar 13, 2012 10:27 | 0 replies

Dikmol, read again. The people got the land AND the cash. I disagree that a man without a land is nothing. A man without the means to earn a living for him and his family is nothing. You cannot eat land. If you own land, and you can make it feed you, you are fine. If you have a job with a decent salary, you don't own land, but you can feed your family, you are fine. If you have land, but you cannot make it feed you, you are scr.ewed. Not everyone is a born farmer.

Mar 13, 2012 10:19 | 0 replies

Dikmol
I wouldnt sell my land for any amount of cash. A man without a land is nothing. This was a chance for Africans to own their own piece of land but they were enticed away with money. Mxim. Selfish people. They inherited the sme land from their ancestors and now their grand children will not have the same benefits as them. This is bad and the trend set here is taking us way back i the days of slavery. selfish!
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These people happen to live on land that belongs to them, unless you suggesting they have being living in trees all their lives.

Mar 13, 2012 9:57 | 0 replies

I wouldnt sell my land for any amount of cash. A man without a land is nothing. This was a chance for Africans to own their own piece of land but they were enticed away with money. Mxim. Selfish people. They inherited the sme land from their ancestors and now their grand children will not have the same benefits as them. This is bad and the trend set here is taking us way back i the days of slavery. selfish!

Mar 13, 2012 9:47 | 0 replies

In 1913 the term "apartheid" did not exist and the government that made it policy was not even in power.

As for the land issue... "To the victor the spoils" is the way of the world.

The god of the ANC and its proponents is the lord Mammom.

Mar 13, 2012 11:26 | 0 replies

Yes, this is no good.
After the money is gone we will find the same people coming up asking for more citing Apartheid.
Give a man fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Money is truly the root of most evil.

Mar 13, 2012 11:40 | 0 replies