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EFF stands its ground in land-grab saga

The party says members will not stop illegally occupying a piece of farmland in Zamdela.

FILE: EFF supporters sing and dance. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says its members will not stop illegally occupying land in the Free State.

Four regional party leaders appeared in the Sasolburg Magistrates Court in the Free State on Monday after allegedly trespassing and illegally occupying a piece of farmland in Zamdela.

The land had been earmarked for a housing project.

The EFF's Kgotso Morapelo says they are adamant vacant land will be claimed.

"We're not going to stop that particular programme. It's a very revolutionary programme and we'll make sure it succeeds in the whole of the Free State and South Africa."

At the same time, defiant Kayamandi residents in Stellenbosch are adamant they will invade open pieces of land in the area.

Locals, most of whom are so-called backyarders, have already set their sights on at least five properties which are apparently standing vacant.

A woman, who does not want to be identified, says authorities have warned them not to erect shacks.

Some residents claim a local businessman called a community meeting at the weekend during which he urged them to occupy the property.

Open pieces of land near the police station and behind the primary school are two properties already claimed by hundreds of residents.

The plots have been demarcated, some with pieces of wood and others with paint, outlining the future position of prospective shacks.

One community member is adamant they are allowed to build on the land, claiming municipal officials were present at a meeting discussing land invasion incidents.

The Stellenbosch municipality says it will continue engaging with community leaders in an effort to prevent illegal occupation of land.

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