Mxolisi Kaunda, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, has called upon members of the Sibuyelwe Matiwane Community Trust near Colenso and the traditional leadership, who are embroiled in the land dispute, to work together and respect the rule of law.

Kaunda was addressing the community of Msuluzi under Inkosi Mabaso following a land dispute. In 1998 the community, through Sibuyelwe Matiwane Community Trust, lodged a land claim with the Department of Land Affairs.

Mxolisi Kaunda

The claim was investigated by the Land Claims Commission in 2002, and the Minister of Land Affairs approved the claim of 8 000 hectares of land.

From 2002, the department began to release the land to the trust beneficiaries. Since the land falls under Inkosi Mabaso, it is alleged that a local induna has been illegally selling land to people from outside the community. The chairperson of the trust claimed that about 20 houses have been illegally built on the land.

In an attempt to stop the illegal sale of land, the trust sought a court interdict to prevent illegal occupation of the land. Kaunda has urged both the trust and the traditional leadership to work together and resolve the dispute amicably. He also called upon the traditional leadership to respect the court interdict which prevents illegal sale and occupation of land under the trust.

“I have issued a clear instruction to the police that they must enforce the court interdict and anyone who continues to build illegally in the land under the trust must be arrested. If the traditional leadership has a problem with the manner in which the land was allocated to the trust, it must approach the court,” said Kaunda.

He has committed to discuss the matter with the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka and request him to engage with the traditional leadership in the area.

“We also want to call on members of the trust to continue to respect the traditional leadership. Equally, the traditional leadership must respect the rule of law,” said Kaunda.