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Amajuba landless besiege land dept
19 Jul 2011
Thamsanqa Magubane

MEMBERS of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) staged a sit-in at the Land Reform and Rural Development Department offices in Newcastle yesterday to draw the attention of senior officials to the inefficiencies of the office.
The members are predominantly rural communities from farms around the Amajuba District.
About 100 people packed the offices demanding to be addressed by the director-general, Mduduzi Shabane, threatening to spend the night at the offices if he failed to address them.
By 4.30 pm yesterday the community members were still at the department’s offices.
A department spokesperson, Sipho Dlamini, said yesterday a meeting between the department and community was in progress, but did not elaborate.
A senior official at the provincial offices, Bonginkosi Zulu, allegedly went to Newcastle to address the community in an effort to resolve the matter, but the community demanded they be addressed by Shabane.
A community leader, Jabulani Hadebe, of the LPM said they had on numerous occasions reported their plight to the department’s officials, but to no avail.
“He [Zulu] came here just to record our complaints, and we told them the complaints are the same ones that we have been raising over the years. We were hoping that he would bring solutions,” said Hadebe.
Hadebe said that chief among the community’s problem is the failure of the department to settle their land claim, which was apparently filed in 1997.
He said there were also facing problems with evictions.

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