Former public protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday lamented that there were land expropriation with compensation took place in rural communities – most of it illegal.
Speaking at the Nelson Mandela University during its Mandela’s centenary celebrations – under the theme of social justice – Madonsela said that she had come across a village where expropriation of land happened without compensation virtually every day.
She would not name the village because she was still going to engage with residents there.
“They [residents] said it happens in two ways: The first way is the indunas (headmen) and some of the amakhosis (chiefs) say that if your land is not utilised for two years it reverts back to the induna or the inkosi.
“I am still looking for a law that says that‚ and I did promise them that I am going to engage with the Department of Land Affairs because the last time I checked customary law‚ there was no such thing‚” she said.
“When we are dealing with social injustice and when we are dealing with the dream of social justice‚ we are looking at fairness and justice for all‚ not just in terms of colour but in terms of gender as well‚ in terms of age and everything.”
She cited a case‚ which she still had to verify‚ where a father died and left the land with sugar cane. The man’s family was refused access to the land and was told the sugar cane and the land now belonged to the chief.
“If this is true‚ it is not funny. It is a violation of the Constitution‚ it is a violation of the law even the old law because section 25 which protects the right to property‚ it includes all property rights including rights that are less than ownership‚” she said.