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Minister Didiza visits troubled Mthwalume area

In recent weeks, land and sugar cane fields belonging to the Mathulini Communal Property Association were set alight resulting in damage estimated at around R3 million.

Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza. Picture: @DRDLR_online/Twitter

DURBAN - Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza has visited the Mthwalume area in KwaZulu-Natal to quell tensions relating to land claims disputes.

In recent weeks, land and sugar cane fields belonging to the Mathulini Communal Property Association were set alight resulting in damage estimated at around R3 million.

These events were accompanied by violent protests, which resulted in one of the property managers of the Mathulini CPA being thrown into a fire.

In 1998, 125 households under the Mathulini CPA lodged a land claim with the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development.

An agreement was endorsed by the department in 2010 and in 2012 the department then agreed to buy the land in three stages.

However, in 2013 factional battles within the CPA resulted in a splinter group which claimed the process had been unfair.

This resulted in a series of court cases and violent demonstrations in the area which have increased in recent weeks.

Didiza has met with both the Mathulini CPA and the concerned group.

She said a solution was on the way: “We’ve agreed that we need to undertake an investigation so we can establish what are the challenges because in their discussions, they both indicated that certain things were done wrong by our officials.”

An investigation is expected to take three months.

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