Owners go to court to stop land grabbers

Shacks have sprung up on a farm land owned by three black businessmen in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.
Shacks have sprung up on a farm land owned by three black businessmen in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Shacks have sprung up on a privately owned land near Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, causing the owners distress and financial headaches.

The victims of land grab are three black businessmen, who have now sought a court order barring the invaders from occupying their property.

The sheriff of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria is today expected to enforce the interim order granted on Friday to remove all erected structures and that police should restore the land to its owners .

When the matter was heard in court on Friday, there were just over 150 shacks, but more people were still arriving with building materials when Sowetan visited the property on Sunday. One of the land invaders, Nkanyiso Sithole, was unaware of the court order.

On Friday, he paid R50 to people responsible for dividing and dishing out the 20-by-20 metres stands on the property.

Sithole was told to bring R500 when he came to erect his shack.

“I brought the building material and paid the R500. The person who did not give me a name pointed me to where I should erect my shack. I was told the money was for roads, water and electricity,” he said.

The “office” shack from where the land grabbers operate was deserted when the Sowetan arrived, with only a chair and a table. There were no contact numbers, with the squatters saying the “office” operated from 9am to 2pm.

The owners of the property, Dr Motodi Samuel Maserumule , Diphethe Bopape and Kgosi Letsiri Phaahla, approached the high court on an urgent basis after four farms belonging to their company, Akubra Trading, were occupied and subdivided on Monday last week. They were helped by Afrikaner rights group AfriForum.

Maserumule said they bought the 120 hectares of land in 2007 for R1.7m from an elderly farmer whose children were not interested in farming. He said they would have to decide what to do as the property faces land grab issues.

He said a potential buyer was offering R46m.

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