Hennie Mentz, owner of Montabello Farm bordering the KaBokweni Road, watched haplessly and in fear when hundreds of Tekwane residents illegally occupied his property.
Mentz said he left for church in the morning, and upon his return, his property had been alight.

The owner of the farm left for church in the morning, and upon his return, his property had been invaded and set alight.

“It was horrific to see. We felt threatened,” he said. The group of people started marking out plots on the piece of land.

“The invaders who were pegging out stands showed no respect for the SAPS, and as the police mobilised towards groups of invaders, they would just circle around them and continue to peg out stands for houses,” said Robertson.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa recently said expropriation without compensation would not create job losses, affect the economy or food security or the agricultural sector. The invasions are indicative of how ambiguous the president’s message has become, and that an invasion of this farmland immediately affects the farmer, his employees and the emerging farmers who purchase large hay bales from him to sustain their cattle in drought or when there is overgrazing on commonage ground,” said Robertson.

“The long-term effect will be that properties will be targeted for many reasons, which leads me to wonder whether proper assessment of whether property is being used or not will be done as clearly. Sunday’s invasion indicates that what seemed to be unused actually has a significant use to both commercial and emerging farmers,” he said.