Tribes regain Mapungubwe

The Machete and Lisheba tribes are upbeat after their bid to reclaim their land, which forms part of Mapungubwe, was successful.

The Machete and Lisheba tribes are upbeat after their bid to reclaim their land, which forms part of Mapungubwe, was successful.

In the biggest land claim case to date, the Machete royal family has succeeded in a bid for Mapungubwe, a World Heritage Site which was earmarked as a transfrontier national park.

The families are confident the claim will be settled quickly.

Motlatsi Lebea of the Limpopo Land Claims Commission confirmed yesterday that the claim was approved last year. The Machete and Lisheba families claimed the land in a joint venture, as they both claimed to own it.

The Machetes and the Lishebas form the Thwamapa-ba-ga-Machete tribe, who speak a combination of Sesotho and Shona.

Lebea would not say when the settlement would be finalised. "It's up to the land claims commission, the SA National Parks and the Machete and Lisheba clans to decide how best to resolve the matter."

According to the commission, the families have successfully reclaimed 56 farms.

Lucas Machete of the Machete royal family said yesterday this number was not a true reflection of the farms that were being claimed. He said though they were happy that 56 of the farms had been approved, there were still 89 that were outstanding.

"The Limpopo Land Claims Commission is aware that we have claimed at least 145 farms," said Machete.

He said they have plans for the use of the land but refused to disclose what those plans were.

X