South Africa: Death Threats and Fear Rule As Scramble for Pristine Tribal Land Continues

analysis

A scramble for a piece of pristine coastal land by the rich and wealthy has plunged poor families who have lived off the fertile ground for generations into a life of fear and dispossession.

The OnguMnini village near uMgababa on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has become the latest to be engulfed by this scourge in which traditional leaders sell off land and force their subjects out to make way for rich property developers and aspiring homeowners.

The OnguMnini village has seen a high influx of wealthy business people and developers who are targeting the region to build holiday homes, residential apartments and tourist resorts.

Commonly known as uMnini, taken from the isiZulu word umnikazi (owner), the area is surrounded by breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and rolling green hills. The area also boasts fertile soil ideal for commercial and subsistence farming. Villagers believe that this geographical feature has now become a curse and turned their lives upside down.

At the centre of the residents' woes is the alleged illegal sale of their land allegedly by the local chief inkosi Phathisizwe Luthuli, the leader of the Luthuli traditional authority, with his indunas who are accused of hounding residents off their...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.