Beneficiaries of the Ajax farm in Piet-Retif accused the committee responsible for the distribution of the stands of illegally selling them and neglecting the beneficiaries.
They claim that the committee sells the sites to third parties – without the consent of the beneficiaries. The farm acquired the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture – on behalf of the community adjacent to the farm.
More than 100 beneficiaries of Ajax Farm in Mkhondo Municipality accuse the committee of corruption. Beneficiaries accuse committee members of selling land to outsiders.
The land was purchased by the Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture to house the residents of the village who work on nearby farms.
The inhabitants of the village live on the homestead. The land was supposed to be transferred to the municipality for the development of the settlement – but this process was delayed. Some of the beneficiaries are disappointed by the alleged illegal sale of land in the farm.
The intervention of the district councilor and the mayor proved futile as the sales continued. Some managers were also threatened by people allegedly selling websites.
It is believed that people who came from as far away as KwaZulu-Natal also bought sites.
Ward 8 councilor David Lushaba says he has appealed to the department several times to intervene but to no avail.
“No one has the right to give other people stands. It is only the department that should guide us but unfortunately they are running away from us till today so I decided to excuse myself from this problem because there are some threats against me even now I am afraid when I stand here they are saying that this councilor is one of the people who refuse to give people land.’
The Department of Land Affairs and Agriculture confirms that the land was purchased in 2016 on behalf of the community. Moreover, the department insists that no one, including committee members, has the right to sell land plots.
Gert Sibande District Lands Director Patrick Lukele says: “The farm known as Ajax in the Mkhonda Municipality was acquired at a cost of R8.3 million through an active land requisition strategy. A land requisition strategy is a strategy in which the government buys land. The farm was purchased to help a community at risk of eviction. It is planned to donate the land to Mkhondo Municipality. The department has been notified of the encroachers and the department will work with Mkhonda Municipality through the necessary legal framework.”
The committee was contacted for comment but declined to comment on the allegations leveled against its members.