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Manager 'thrown into fire' during violent 'farm invasion' in KZN

07 July 2019 - 12:45 By Nico Gous
Stock photo.
Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Thuansak Srilao

A farm manager in KwaZulu-Natal was hospitalised with burns on Saturday after "violent thugs" invaded a farm, set it alight and allegedly threw him into the flames.

IFP MP Inkosi Bhekizizwe Luthuli revealed details about the incident in a statement on Sunday on behalf of the Mathulini Communal Property Association.

“The perpetrators of this violent and unlawful act are part of the ‘concerned group’ that is attempting to hijack a 7,500 hectare land claim from the Mathulini Communal Property Association and the Ndelo Community Trust, valued in excess of R300m. The farms that make up this land claim produce 400,000 tonnes of sugar cane annually and employ 1,200 people,” Luthuli said.

“This violent hijack of a legitimate land claim is a desperate and unlawful attempt to achieve what has failed through legal processes that have so far cost the beneficiaries R6.5m in legal fees. The demands of the ‘concerned group’ ... have already been rejected in the land claims court in numerous cases.”

Luthuli said they had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa and agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza about the situation.

“Perhaps now that a farm has been invaded, roads illegally blockaded and a man nearly burned to death, the government will take notice,” Luthuli said.

“If we allow nefarious forces to capture our land claim processes for their own ends, we will never get South Africa’s stalled land reform programme properly on track.”

TimesLIVE has reached out to the police for comment.