Cosatu opposes R2-million land deal

NOT right:
       Dan Sebabi
NOT right: Dan Sebabi

THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Limpopo has criticised the "meagre" payment of just more than R2-million to the Molekana clan for land dispossessed from them and on which Anglo Platinum has a mining operation outside Mokopane in Limpopo.

Cosatu provincial secretary Dan Sebabi yesterday described the settlement as "daylight robbery" because the clan lost all the rights to the land, including ownership, for a payment totalling R2295300, that was shared among 42 households last week. The payment to a further 27 households, who did not register in time, will still be processed.

The clan was removed from its land without compensation between 1969 and 1970 by the apartheid regime after the discovery of minerals in the area. The clan later lodged a land claim in accordance with the Restitution of Land Rights Act.

The department of rural development and land reform, through the land restitution programme, paid the clan the more than R2-million last week.

Molekana land claims committee chairman Leseja Tjatji earlier told Sowetan they opted for cash to avoid infighting in the clan over the possible payment of rent for the land from Anglo Platinum.

Waterberg district municipality mayor Rosina Mogotlane praised the move and appealed to the clan to use the money wisely.

But Sebabi yesterday told Sowetan: "What do the clan do with the R2-million, while Anglo Platinum continues to deplete the minerals from the land? They have now lost all the rights to the land and have been driven further into poverty."

Sebabi believed the community should have been advised by the department to have opted for shares and other social and economic benefits from Anglo Platinum.

"This raises the question of compliance with BEE. If the community who owns the land is not a beneficiary of BEE, who then is? You might find that some politicians are BEE partners," Sebabi said.

Limpopo rural development and land reform spokesman Motlatsi Lebea was unable to provide details of the land settlement agreement.