Move to use farmland as a graveyard outrages residents

RESIDENTS of Moime village in Maake, outside Tzaneen, are angered that the local municipality has converted their farming land into a graveyard for the Lenyenye community without consultation.

RESIDENTS of Moime village in Maake, outside Tzaneen, are angered that the local municipality has converted their farming land into a graveyard for the Lenyenye community without consultation.

They said they were surprised to see a bulldozer from a private company contracted by the Tzaneen municipality to clear their farming land for use as a graveyard without their knowledge.

Residents spokesperson Choshi Ramodike said when they made enquiries at the Bakgaga ba Maake Traditional Authority, most of its members did not know anything about an agreement reached with the area's queen on the use of the land.

"We therefore decided to submit our concern to the municipality so that it would be attended to before any further damage could be done to our land," Ramodike said.

The villagers also claimed that Tzaneen municipal manager Mabakane Mangena, who also comes from Lenyenye, told residents that the municipality would find a new piece of land to use as a burial ground.

Mangena is reported to have said this during a funeral service of one of the residents at the township recently. At the moment none of the members of the queen's council know of an agreement reached with the municipality on the use of the land as a graveyard.

Mangena insisted there had been consultations with the chief and residents over the last three years.

He said not everybody had agreed to the arrangement and promised that villagers would be provided with alternative land for farming.

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