National 25.8.2016 02:06 pm

Giyani residents get R92m in compensation for land claims

Front row, Samuel Zitha and two other beneficiaries, Nyanisi Mabunda and Mthavini Bungele display their vouchers. Back row: Regional Land Claim Commissioner Miyelani Nkatingi, Chief Dzumeri and Giyani Mayor, Sasavona Mathebula.

Front row, Samuel Zitha and two other beneficiaries, Nyanisi Mabunda and Mthavini Bungele display their vouchers. Back row: Regional Land Claim Commissioner Miyelani Nkatingi, Chief Dzumeri and Giyani Mayor, Sasavona Mathebula.

The land the Wayeni community occupied was to be incorporated into the Venda homeland, and because they were Tsonga-speaking, they were removed.

The Regional Land Claims Commissioner handed over vouchers on Sunday worth a combined amount of R92 million to Wayeni and Dzumeri land claimants in compensation for land rights infringements under the apartheid government.

Each of the 354 households in Wayeni received R118 692, while the Dzumeri’s 351 households received R110 947 each, Letaba Herald reported.

This after the Wayeni community comprising mostly Malele and Mahlangu families were forcibly removed from their land and homes in 1966 to make way for the establishment of homelands and self-governing states.

The land that they occupied was to be incorporated into the Venda homeland.

These claimants were Tsonga-speaking and were therefore removed.

They were moved to various areas, such as Holofani, Njhakanjhaka, Mashamba villages and the majority of them joined other Tsonga at Wayeni village situated in the Vhembe District of the province.

Meanwhile, the dispossession of the Dzumeri community’s land took place between 1967 and 1968 on the basis that Dzumeri community was classified as Tsonga-speaking people, and the land was earmarked for occupation by the Sotho-speaking.

The settlement for the Dzumeri community comprises financial compensation amounting to R38.9 million shared by 351 households and R10.3 million to be used for development purposes.

Most of the beneficiaries said they will use the money to improve their standard of living and pay for their children’s tertiary education.

According to the Office of the Regional Land Claims Commissioner, the settlement of these claims, and the hand-over of financial compensation, is part of the processing and finalisation of claims that were lodged with the commission by December 31, 1998.

– Caxton News Service

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