A communal property association has called on government to urgently intervene to stop violent land grabs of a black-owned farm saying failure to do so will hurt the agriculture sector and put thousands of jobs at risk, notes a Business Day report.

Speaking on behalf of the Mathulini Communal Property Association yesterday, IFP MP Inkosi Bhekizizwe Luthuli revealed that a manager of a farm owned by the association in the Mtwalume area of KZN had been hospitalised with first degree burns after thugs invaded the farm, set it alight and threw him into a fire with the intention of killing him.

‘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,’ said Luthuli.

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’.

Full Business Day report