Fri Oct 21 15:11:18 SAST 2016

'If the white farmers want war, they'll get it'

By unknown | Jan 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Local leaders have warned of full- scale violence if nothing is done to alleviate the growing tension on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

They said the situation at the New Venture Farm, near Eshowe, remains tense after the killing of farm manager Kenneth Lionel Eva, 49, two weeks ago.

Yesterday local councillor Mbuzo Mzikayifani Ngobese expressed concern about the safety of the people in his area.

He said that during Eva's funeral at the weekend "farmers threatened to take revenge".

"They are very bitter about his death and I am afraid something will happen. The anger, pain and brutality is clearly written all over their faces.

"We are happy with the number of police that have been deployed in the area, but I'm still concerned," he said.

Ngobese said armed farmers have blocked all routes linking the community and the farm.

"These farmers have put together their own armed forces to guard the farm," he said.

"At the moment no one can come near the farm and yesterday I had to be accompanied by the police to go to trees under which the children are learning."

Farmer Mark Chennells, angry about Eva's death, apparently demolished a school on his land.

Residents are angry that the school has been demolished.

Ngobese said that at the funeral, farmers also threatened to plough up the more than 200 graves that are on the farm.

"Relatives of those people buried there have vowed to protect their graves and this is an ingredient for a disaster," he said.

Eva was clubbed to death by a group of more than 250 people a fortnight ago over a land dispute.

Senior Superintendent Phindile Hadebe said: "We are aware of the tense situation and will camp in the area until the situation is back to normal."

Chennells is the legal owner of the land, but farm dwellers claim the land belonged to their forefathers and is theirs.

A resident, who refused to be named, warned that if white farmers want war, they will get it.

"This is our land, and if our forefathers died protecting it, we don't dare fail them," he said.


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