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Family finally buries mother in peace

By unknown | Oct 13, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

Chrisie Setlhafuno was finally buried this weekend after a three-week legal battle between her family and owner of the farm they have lived on for more than 60 years.

Setlhafuno, 79, died on September 17 at her home on the farm Buffelsvlei in a community with 50 residents near Ventersdorp.

When her family reported the death to farmer Wimpie Rossouw he immediately instructed them not to bury her on the farm, citing environmental concerns as one of his reasons.

The family, who believe the farmer's actions are based on racism, took the matter to the Ventersdorp magistrate's court but it ruled in favour of the farmer.

Following advice from the Land Access Movement of South Africa (Lamosa) an appeal was launched with the land claims court, which ruled on Thursday that the family had every right to bury the deceased on the farm.

The family's attorney, Isaac Matshitse, said the dispute was a sensitive matter and he had dealt with similar cases before.

Setlhafuno's daughter, Dorcas Banda, 60, said their problems began when Rossouw took over the farm in 2003.

"He did nothing with the farm in terms of production and then started evicting people, especially widows," Banda said. "I was also evicted from the house we lived in when my husband died and I now live in a backyard shack."

She went on to say that people were stripped of grazing and burial rights and also had their water and electricity cut off.

"Life was better when the old farmer was here and he never gave us problems," she said.

Speaking at the funeral, community leader Mogomotsi Morole urged the people to stand up against abuse and intimidation by farmers by reporting it to Lemosa or the Legal Aid Board.


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