Farmers accused in land claim ruckus
Angry farm dwellers can't understand why the owners of the land they are living on are becoming abusive, but provincial leaders believe it's because the residents have launched a land claim - and the farmers want to get rid of them.
They even accuse the farmers of having a hand in the death of 82-year-old Nonyathi Mahlangu.
Citing examples of harassment, residents' representative Michael Ntuli said the construction of a road to the mountains and a vicious attack were the main reasons for the collapse and subsequent death of the elderly woman.
"Mahlangu showed signs of depression immediately after the farmer started to construct the road," Ntuli said.
"He left his material at her place and, on his return, claimed that some of the logs were missing.
"He took one of the logs and chased the woman, and ended up breaking one of the doors of the house."
According to Ntuli the road cuts through the families' properties and is so close to their homes that they have had to demolish some of them.
Safety and security MEC Siphosezwe Masango said: "Maybe it is a ploy by the farmer to drive the residents away from the farm so he can get rid of the claimants of the farm."
Masango also said all cases involving the abuse of farm dwellers in the area would be reinvestigated for possible prosecution since residents have complained that farmers do as they please because of a lack of police action.
Masango was accompanied by Emakhazeni municipal executive mayor Linkie Mohlala and acting provincial commissioner Pumza Makanya-Ojowuro on a visit to the farm to investigate the allegations of harassment.
He said Makanya-Ojowuro must look at ways of protecting the farm dwellers so that they are not harassed or intimidated by the farmer.
He said he must also ensure that the police do what is expected of them in cases where farm dwellers were under threat.
Sowetan could not reach the farmers that are allegedly harassing the farm dwellers.