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Landless hail MEC's 'demotion'

By unknown | May 07, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The Landless People's Movement (LPM) in the Midlands yesterday welcomed the "demotion" of former MEC of agriculture and environmental affairs Mtholephi Mthimkhulu.

Mthimkhulu was y sworn in yesterday in the legislature as deputy speaker, a position some said was a demotion, while the ANC described it as "redeployment".

LPM's Bhekokwakhe Dlamini yesterday said the "demotion" was long overdue.

"We believe the demotion was long overdue given his dismal track record in dealing with land and agriculture issues.

"Mthimkhulu failed to deal with land issues affecting poor and landless people on farms. He was only concerned about serving the interests of the white commercial farmers and the BEE farmers who continue to perpetuate the abuse of landless farm dwellers," said Dlamini.

Dlamini pointed to the issue of Nomalanga Estate in Greytown and Impendle, "where the landless people had requested his intervention, but he was nowhere to be seen".

"The department under Mthimkhulu failed to assist landless people with seeds, implements and other necessary resources to ensure that people are able to feed themselves.

"The only beneficiaries have been people who are living on freehold and traditional communal land.

"He failed to live up to his promise of expropriating land from farmers who abuse the landless poor."

Dlamini said the new MEC for agriculture must be "passionate about land reform and rural development, and in particular the interests of the landless farm dwellers".

Nomfundo Mcetywa, the ANC media liaison officer, said the reshuffle was not a demotion but a re-deployment.


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