Minister takes land back from new black owner

Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana and an entourage of about 30 land affairs and provincial and municipal officials recently invaded a land-reform beneficiary’s farm and summarily evicted the occupiers in what legal experts describe as a violation of the constitution and of land tenure legislation.

The minister seized the 21ha farm in the Yzerfontein area in eastern Gauteng as part of her “use it or lose it” approach to redeem some of the government’s many failed land-reform projects.

Xingwana ordered her staff and traffic officials to break a lock to permit entry into the dwelling house area, but they failed after several attempts.

There was no evidence that the minister and her department had followed due process to effect the eviction, which requires that a court order putting people off the land has to be served on the occupiers.

No court order had been served on any of the farm’s occupiers.

Xingwana said she seized the farm because “there was no agriculture going on the farm” and the land-reform beneficiary, Veronica Moose, “had never been” on the farm and had sub-leased it to a white man.

Source: Neels Blom, Minister takes land back from new black owner, Business Day,09 April, 2009.

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FMF Policy Bulletin/ 14 April 2009

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