What happens to rural communities when they are denied the right to decide about their land?
When big companies uproot them for business interests without clarity about the way forward.
In particular, where is the government in that process?
A community in the Cradle of Humankind are at war over the rightful ownership of a plot of land donated to them by a farmer in the early 2000's.
It is a story about what can happen to rural communities and the disenfranchised when they are denied the right to decide what happens on their land, and big companies who uproot communities for business interests and fulfilling its obligations to develop the community.
250 houses, a community centre, a school and a golf academy, were the promises made to the community, in exchange they made way for the company to build a golf estate.
Several years later, none of the promises has been fulfilled, the community is divided over who has secure of tenure on the land they were dumped, and now men who were once allies are at war, evicted and taking each other court.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, Investigative Journalist at Amabhungane Zanele Mji says basically what is at stake here is that there are two groups who are in line to receive two different donations.
But those two donations were for the same plot of land. So on one side there is a man named William Moagi and he leads the cradle community property association and they are a group of households that had lived in the area for a long time and worked for one of the families in the area at the Mayfair Descente Company.— Zanele Mji, Investigative Journalist at Amabhungane
And when they sold the company and the farm, the family that own that land donated a portion of land to their employees as a thank you and almost as a retirement parting gift.— Zanele Mji, Investigative Journalist at Amabhungane
Listen below to the full interview: