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AG INSISTS: 10 NOKWANE HOMES TO BE DEMOLISHED

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MBABANE – Government will continue with the demolition of 10 homesteads at Nokwane despite that there is a pending appeal.


The AG  has said the demolition of the said homesteads can only be stopped once there is an instruction from His Majesty the King.
 About 10 homesteads will be demolished at Nokwane to give way to the construction of the Royal Bio-Technology Park.


The High Court recently issued a final order ejecting/evicting all those claiming occupation on Farm 692 Nokwane.
The court also ordered that all and every illegal structure erected on the Farm should be demolished.


The residents filed an appeal which they alleged stays the execution of the judgment calling for the demolition of their ‘homesteads’.
The office of the Attorney General had since written them a letter informing them that government was continuing with the demolitions despite the appeal noted.


“Pursuant to the court order obtained on September 8, 2014 against you, you are hereby informed that the illegal structures will demolished,” reads part of the letter. The attorney general requested the ‘residents’ to vacate the property as per the court order, failing which their personal belongings would be damaged along with the demolition of the illegal structures.


The AG further stated that his office noted that they (residents) had filed a notice of appeal on the matter, which appeal they viewed as being a delaying tactic because the issues raised on appeal were technical and they do not go to the merits, being the alleged illegal occupation of the property in question.


“Despite your appeal the only thing that can stop the demolition from proceeding on the said date is an instruction from His Majesty the King,” stated the AG who was represented by Senior Crown Counsel Vusi Kunene.


Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Sikelela Dlamin, stated that during the year 2006, the Ministry of Housing embarked on a township development project.


“The ministry, together with the Lobamba lomdzala umphakatsi, began a relocating exercise with regard to lawful farm dwellers who were occupying the farm which is the subject matter of this application,” he stated.
He said the farm dwellers were given alternative land to settle at and were also compensated for such relocation.


Resettlement


“However, after the resettlement process, some of those people later came back into the farm and were also joined by other squatters who had not initially resided on the farm. Farm 692, Mbanana was later allocated for the construction of the Royal Science and Innovation Park/ Biotechnology Park,” said the principal secretary.


Dlamini further submitted that on commencement of the construction of the park, government discovered that there were illegal squatters on the farm, which government believed had long vacated. He stated that representatives from the Swaziland Government, in particular the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, which is the relevant ministry in the construction of the park with the Ministry of Housing and Lobamba lomdzala umphakatsi, held numerous meetings with the squatters.


He said during the numerous meetings the squatters were informed of their illegal stay on the farm.
“It was not known how they came to settle on the farm after the original farm dwellers were relocated. Notwithstanding their trespassing, government negotiated with the umphakatsi to give them an alternative piece of land, despite the fact that the umphakatsi did not known some of them,” he submitted. The PS said after being given alternative piece of land the squatters were told that the umphakatsi expected them to follow the procedure for acquiring land on Swazi Nation Land (bachube Siswati bakhonte).


Dlamini said the respondents (squatters) opted to be defiant and remained in the farm illegally.
He stated that government advised the squatters that it was willing to incur costs associated with relocation, including costs for reburial of their relatives. “Despite all the attempts by government the respondents, and all those claiming occupation under them, are continuing with the unlawful occupation of the Farm,” stated Dlamini.

Comments (1 posted):

Sandile Fakudze on 25/09/2014 09:28:21
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Very saddening indeed. at least the govt who is supposed to take care of its people has proved to all and sundry that her focus is development at the expense of its own citizens. These residents are not "squatters" as the PS calls them.I have lived in that place for all my life and I have not seen a zozo ar umkhukhu to qualify the term. nevertheless, thank you for displaying to the public how useless and irrelevant our views are regarding this matter, but we cannot fold our hands and applaud the lies you are busy feeding the nation. first of all, there was no COMPENSATION or ALTERNATIVE LAND given to these people. out of the ten residents, these listed families occupied that place in the early 1978: Ka Josiah Dlamini, kaGogo Jele (now known as kaMaseko),kaMathamane Motsa (late), kaObed Fakudze (late), kaGogo Thriphinah, kaHadzebe and kaTsela Now in our right state of mind, how can someone be an illegal citizen for 36 years? All these families have been residing and known at Lobamba Lomdzala. They formalised everything with the late Chief Mathendeka and then Indvuna Thozo. These very families bebamemetwa to weed and harvest the king's fields at Phondo for all the years. Now the present chief Mlobokazana and indvuna Magingindane claim that they dont know these people. To top it all from this article we are told people denied to go to the new land, fellow Swazis there is nothing like that. There is couple of groups who came to this place counting and measuring the houses and trees in preparation for compensation. I recall we also had a meeting with the then Minister Thandi Shongwe. it was just promises after promises. Now this is the end??? Swazi citizens treated like this in their motherland??? its really worrying, where should they go? It is always appreciable if the ministry officials and the lobamba lomdzala constituency were telling the truth. what more should one do to be a recognised and respected swazi citizen?

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