- A former land reform official was found guilty of robbing a family of their rightful land
- The Shabalala family was awarded the Kuickvlei 10 years ago but are still waiting for ownership
- The official, Patrick Masoka, was sentenced to 10 years in prison
Patrick Masoka, a former Department of Rural Development and Land Reform official, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he stole land from a family.
The Shabalala family was given a farm in Ladysmith on which they have worked and lived their whole lives.
They were also meant to receive grants and help that would support them as they become farmers.
However, Masoka swindled the family out of their rightful land and took possession of it. Masoka and his family moved in on the farm and he even removed some of the cattle as if it were his own.
The Shabalala family have been waiting 10 years for their farm, Kuickvlei.
Durban Commercial Crimes Court magistrate Judy Naidoo stated that the family have not been given ownership yet and they won't get it any time soon. This is because of the interference of Masoka.
Masoka's theft amounted to R5.3 million, according to a report by The South African. He created a trust deed that left out the Shabalalas as its owners.
Masoka changed a number of documents so he can take the farm as his own as well as benefit from agricultural development grants.
The farm was sold to the government in 2008, as part of plans for land reform. Kuickvlei was a workable farm, but since Masoka took possession of it, it has deteriorated.
The farm was neglected and plundered and is no longer commercially workable. The state has since taken the farm back but it has just deteriorated even more.
Briefly.co.za gathered that there are 28 more cases like this one are being addressed in KwaZulu-Natal.
Land reform is a sore topic in South Africa and corrupt officials like Masoka are only making matters worse.
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