R2m paid for farmer to stay put

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

Administrative bungling seems to be behind a land dispute between the Makhutswe Communal Property Association and the Land Claims Commission.

Farmer Wiskey Kgabo, who was paid R2million four years ago, is still profiting from Balloon 71KT farm near Tzaneen.

The commission allegedly allowed Kgabo to continue farming without consulting the new owners.

Yesterday, association spokesperson Frans Mametja said Kgabo must leave their land so that they can start farming.

The association's case is a microcosm of the challenges that land restitution beneficiaries face.

Three members of the association who were last year arrested for illegally harvesting mangoes were acquitted last week by a Naphuno magistrate in Lenyenye, outside Tzaneen. The court ruled that the accused did not commit a crime when they harvested their own crops.

The LCC had not responded at the time of going to press yesterday.

Transvaal Agriculture Union president, Theo De Jager said beneficiaries suffer because of a lack of commitment by LCC officials.

"Communities will now get their land without crops," he said.