A tractor on a farm land.
Residents of Mpindweni, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, believe their traditional chief has sold their land.
Chief Dalubuhle Ndamase is accused of selling a plot of land to people from outside the area. The land is used for economic purposes by the community.
According to Zolile Xhala of the ward committee, the situation was reported to tribal authorities, but their head failed to attend meetings.
"They're putting up residences on that property." We use the gravel material from the site to build roads in Mpindweni and even the Mthatha bridge. We approached him to see if he knew who was building dwellings on our property. He claims he can't say he doesn't know them or that he does since it will cause a rift in the community."
Mwelo Nonkonyane, Chairperson of the Eastern Cape Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), argues that people have a right to land, but that legal procedures must be followed.
"We are quite worried. It's clear to us that the procedures in place for allocating land to people have not been followed properly. Our people have a right to know who is assigned land, and they are a part of the decision-making process."
Despite many attempts, the SABC was unable to obtain a response from chief Ndamase.
People should be informed about who has purchased their land because it is their right. It will be bad if they are told to leave one day because the landowner wants to build something on it, and it will not be the landowner's fault, but the seller's.
Because it is the ward committee's mission to keep citizens informed about what is going on in their neighborhood, it is the responsibility of the ward committee to do so.
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