South Africa 12.9.2018 08:16 am

AfriForum helps black farmer evict unwelcome land occupiers

A Red ant is seen removing illegal structures on a piece of land in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria where they evicted residents that had been occupying the land illegally, 11 September 2018. Dr Motodi Maserumule had struggled to get the police to act for several days after finding his land being occupied illegally but was eventually helped by Afriforum after which the residents were handed an eviction notice. Picture: Jacques Nelles

A Red ant is seen removing illegal structures on a piece of land in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria where they evicted residents that had been occupying the land illegally, 11 September 2018. Dr Motodi Maserumule had struggled to get the police to act for several days after finding his land being occupied illegally but was eventually helped by Afriforum after which the residents were handed an eviction notice. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Motodi Maserumule remains concerned the trespassers will be back after a long and difficult process to get rid of them.

A black farm owner was forced to turn to minority rights group AfriForum for help after police allegedly failed to help him to remove land grabbers who had occupied his farm outside Pretoria.

Dr Motodi Maserumule now fears that the “aggressive” trespassers who were evicted yesterday will return.

He said the Soshanguve police failed to remove the land grabbers who had occupied his 120-hectare farm in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria.

The farm, which has four plots, was bought in 2007 by business partners.

Maserumule said they were due to start farming on it, but about two weeks ago, trespassers made the agricultural plot their new home. Since then, Maserumule and his parteners had been begging police to remove them.

“I came on Monday to speak to them [the land grabbers] when they were starting to occupy and build their so-called office,” he told The Citizen yesterday. “I asked them what they were doing on my property and they dismissed me.

“I had papers to prove it’s my farm but they didn’t care. They were saying political slogans.

“I think they are thugs. They got more aggressive with time.”

Upon returning to negotiate with them on Thursday, the land grabbers chased him away.

He immediately went to Soshanguve police station, but says he was refused help as his property “was not fenced”.

“But the fence was stolen a couple of years ago. The police refused to help me,” he alleged. “One of my neighbours told me to contact AfriForum. It took me three days and nothing happened but, when they arrived, they managed to open a case after an hour.”

Last week, the land grabbers were issued with an eviction notice granted by the High Court in Johannesburg.

But the new “land owners” refused to budge until they were forcefully removed by the Red Ants yesterday. Speaking from his now free plot yesterday, Maserumule said he would increase security on his property, but said he feared the land grabbers would return.

A Red ant is seen burning what was left of illegal structures on a piece of land in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria where they evicted residents that had been occupying the land illegally, 11 September 2018. Dr Motodi Maserumule had struggled to get the police to act for several days after finding his land being occupied illegally but was eventually helped by Afriforum after which the residents were handed an eviction notice. Picture: Jacques Nelles

AfriForum’s community safety head Ian Cameron said it was important to follow the relevant steps in removing trespassers.

“We believe the steps taken to remove the trespassers and structures will send a strong message that trespassers will not be tolerated.” – rorisangk@citizen.co.za

Red ants are seen on the back of a truck on a piece of land in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria where they evicted residents that had been occupying the land illegally, 11 September 2018. Dr Motodi Maserumule had struggled to get the police to act for several days after finding his land being occupied illegally but was eventually helped by Afriforum after which the residents were handed an eviction notice. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Red ants are seen on the back of a truck on a piece of land in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria where they evicted residents that had been occupying the land illegally, 11 September 2018. Dr Motodi Maserumule had struggled to get the police to act for several days after finding his land being occupied illegally but was eventually helped by Afriforum after which the residents were handed an eviction notice. Picture: Jacques Nelles

A Red ant is seen burning what was left of illegal structures on a piece of land in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria where they evicted residents that had been occupying the land illegally, 11 September 2018. Dr Motodi Maserumule had struggled to get the police to act for several days after finding his land being occupied illegally but was eventually helped by Afriforum after which the residents were handed an eviction notice. Picture: Jacques Nelles

 

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