10 August 2017

Namibia: Kransneus Feud Unresolved

THE dispute between two families occupying Farm Kransneus between Windhoek and Rehoboth is still raging 13 years after the government took over the land.

The Irion and Jacobs families occupy the farm that is about 40 kilometres from Windhoek on the Rehoboth road.

The disputes started in 2002 when a certain Jan Jacobs bought about 658 hectares from Elizabeth Sacco, who was married to a member of the Irion family. Jacobs also bought about 1 220 hectares from Hendrik Irion for about N$100 per hectare.

There were allegations that Jacobs never paid the money to Hendrik but rather gave him food and alcohol to take over the farm. James Jacobs, the son of Jan Jacobs, last week denied the allegations made by the Irions.

He said his father deposited the money in Hendrik's bank account at Rehoboth.

The two families began threatening each other with legal charges and evictions after the Jacobs's started selling portions of the farm.

Documents seen by The Namibian show that Jan Jacobs had bought 658 hectares from Elizabeth Sacco, who was married to Gert Irion.

The Irion family, however, argued that they never saw the money from Jacobs, that Sacco was not the rightful executor, and accusing her of appointing herself in that capacity.

"The family never named Sacco as an executor, and he therefore had no right to sell the land," said Belinda Irion.

The family appointed Belinda Irion as the administrator in 2006.

Belinda Irion accused the Jacobs family of stealing the land which belonged to her family, saying that they (Jacobs's) are trying to push them off their land. She also provided documents which prove that the farm belonged to her great-grandmother, Maria Irion.

"The land was not transferred to my grandmother's children, which is why there are no title deeds proving ownership," she stated.

Although both families have documents indicating legal ownership of the farm, The Namibian reported in 2004 that the farm was transferred to the state following the disputes over ownership.

Both families, however, denied that the farm belonged to the state.

James Jacobs also denied stealing any land from the Irions, maintaining that his father bought the land.

He said the Irions themselves are the ones selling their land and he provided documents which show that a certain Katrina Irion had given about 54 hectares to a certain Manfred Donavan and Immanuel Fabian Pieters. The Namibian understands that Donavan and Pieters have also sold land from the plots they got.

Belinda countered this, saying Donavan and Immanuel were allocated land by her mother because they were helping the family financially, and they are also part of the family.

"In fact, Donavan is my brother-in-law. Pieters is the one selling land to his friends," she said.

The land reform ministry's spokesperson, Chrispin Matongela, could not answer questions sent to him, saying he was preparing for the upcoming land conference.

"People are preparing for the land conference. It will be very difficult to get that kind of information now," he said.


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