Land: The people speak – ‘Traditional leaders are making us suffer’

Mahikeng-  Even though several members of the Mahikeng community recognised and respected the role of traditional leaders in the ongoing land debate, some raised concerns over their treatment of people who live on land under their control.

Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee headed to the North West city on Wednesday, where a hall full of residents across the political spectrum shared their views on whether the Constitution needed to be amended to allow expropriation of land without compensation.

The ongoing public hearings into the highly divisive and emotive land issue, following a successful motion the EFF brought in the National Assembly.

Committee members, including its chairperson Vincent Smith, EFF leader Julius Malema and Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota, listened as many community members shared that they supported land expropriation without compensation.

But SA Federation of Trade Unions North West convenor Puseletso Modise wanted the government to nationalise all land, including land under traditional leadership and the controversial Ingonyama Trust.

Land debates have raised the concerns from traditional leaders, who want their land to not be expropriated.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini held an imbizo to discuss the matter – a decision taken described by some as a show of force and war

A emotive plea for Charlotte Bokgosi living in Makgobistad village caught the attention from some. She begged the committee to not make traditional leaders custodians of land in the country.

“Traditional leaders are making us suffer,” she said, as members of the public supported and egged her on to continue.

News24 reported that they did an interview with Bokgosi after the hearing, she said that people living on tribal land would be in “trouble” if chiefs and traditional leaders were to be made the custodians of that land.

“They want to do things for just themselves, to eat alone. They do not have the interests of their communities at heart,” said Bokgosi.

She added thar political leaders in the country didn’t understand the levels of oppression experienced by people living on tribal land.

Hearings will continue on Thursday in Jozini in KwaZulu-Natal and Rustenburg in the North West.

Photo Credit- BusinessLIVE

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