Royal tug-of-war with municipality over land

Chief Famanda Siyandani. © Unknown.
Chief Famanda Siyandani. © Unknown.

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A Limpopo chief has challenged the Greater Giyani local municipality to provide proof of ownership for a piece of land the municipality claims it owns.

Chief Famanda Siyandani of Giyani said the land belongs to the community and not the municipality. Siyandani is demanding that the municipality provides proof that it owns the land, which it has sold to some businessmen.

"I know that the land belongs to my community.

"We are shocked that the municipality claims to own the land.

"I don't know of another case where a municipality suddenly decides to draw a map of land belonging to the community with the aim of robbing them of it," said the chief.

He vowed the community would fight to the bitter end to keep its land and nobody would take it from them even by force.

Greater Giyani municipal manager Silence Makhubele insisted the land belonged to the municipality.

"Our understanding is that the portion of land referred to belongs to the municipality.

"It is part of a bigger portion that used to be called D569, which was then re-demarcated to a sizeable number of sites that were later sold," said Makhubele.

He said chiefs could not administer land on their own, meaning they lacked the authority to give land to anyone.

"However, what chiefs can do is make recommendations to the local government if someone wants land from them," said Makhubele.