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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Man Finally laid to rest on farm

By unknown | May 05, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The funeral of a Limpopo man, who was kept in a mortuary for six weeks because of a dispute between his family and a farm owner on whose land they lived, finally took place yesterday.

Senios Mokoena, 72, was laid to rest on Welverdiend farm near Hoedspruit at an emotionally-charged funeral.

Among the mourners was Deputy Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism Rejoice Mabhudafasi.

Mokoena's death and burial has been the subject of disagreement between his family and farmer Hannes Wessels, who refused them permission to bury their relative on his farm.

He claimed Mokoena's name did not appear anywhere on the list of people residing on the farm.

The matter was finalised at the Randburg court last week after the Maruleng local municipality, with the support of Mabhudafasi, had taken the matter to the land claims court, challenging Wessels' decision.

But the two parties reached an out-of-court settlement after the farmer relented and allowed the family to bury Mokoena on the farm.

The funeral was attended by about 1500 mourners. There was a strong police presence during proceedings.

Mayor Junior Mafogo said he was happy that Mokoena was finally buried without any violence.

"It has always been our belief that the Mokoena family had the right to bury their relative on that farm because they lived there long before the Wesselses bought it," said Mafogo.

According to him Mabhudafasi had vowed to fast-track the claim by the Moletele Tribal Authority for the land to be returned to its rightful owners.

He said the Deputy Minister had also vowed to defend the lawsuit against her.

Wessels has filed a R1million lawsuit against Mabhudafasi for allegedly referring to him as a racist for refusing permission for the burial.


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