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Farmer tried to stop Sowetan's parcels to destitute family

By unknown | Jun 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Police had to scale the fence of a Mpumalanga farm to deliver food and clothes to a destitute family after being refused entry by the owner.

Bednock Nkosi, 68, his wife Christina, 66, their daughters Sarah, 28, Rebecca, 20, and six grandchildren aged between 12 months and 12 years have been staying on the farm, Koppieskraal in Amersfoort, since 1994.

Nkosi and his wife worked for the farmer.

Sowetan first reported on the plight of the family in March after the farmer served them with an eviction notice.

The notice was served on February 20 and instructed them to leave the farm on or before March 31.

Farm owner Freddie Els did not carry out the eviction threat after the story was published in this newspaper, but instead cut off the family's water supply and isolated them by locking the gates to stop sympathisers from gaining access to the family.

Last week Sowetan took food and clothing to the family, but were refused entry by Els .

The food and clothes were donated by the newspaper's social responsibility mascot Mama Angel. Readers from Mamelodi and Bronkhorstspruit donated bundles of new and used clothing, shoes and blankets after they were approached by Sowetan's Pretoria office.

The goods were handed over to the delighted family on Thursday. This was after Sowetan had approached the farmer to open the gate so that the goods could be taken to the family.

Els first demanded to know why Sowetan was giving the family food, and then refused entry.

Police were approached, but they too were refused access to the family.

Local police station commissioner Superintendent Sdumo Ngcobo, accompanied by four of his men, including the area communications officer Superintendent Abbey Khoabane, had to put up a steel step ladder over the fence to gain access to the farm.

Despite winter's icy chill, most of the family's children were scantily dressed while a two-year-old boy, Bongani was only wearing an old shirt.

None of the family members qualifies for 's social grants because they have no identity documents or birth certificates.


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