Durban — Land claimants should not accept money as compensation but should instead choose the plot of land, said Inkosi Bhekizizwe Luthuli of the Mathulini Traditional Council, during a bursary ceremony in Scottburgh, south of Durban, on Saturday.
Luthuli was speaking at the bursary awards ceremony held in Mthlwalume on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
The Mathulini Communal Property Association, of which Luthuli is a trustee, donated bursaries worth R2.5 million to poor but well performing matriculants living under the communal land.
Luthuli said he had to fight hard and resisted attempts by certain individuals who were against the idea that farms must be returned to his traditional council for the benefit of all the community members.
Luthuli said there were people who wanted to claim as individuals, as opposed to his idea, adding that this was going to benefit few, not the entire community.
Luthuli, who is also a Member of Parliament under the IFP, praised the white community who previously owned farms that were claimed by his traditional council. He said the white farmers maintained a good working relationship with the traditional council even after the land was successfully transferred to the CPA.
Luthuli said he wants to leave a good legacy and vowed to ensure the beneficiation of the farms. He wants to ensure that his tribe matches Royal Bafokeng standards in terms of development, he said.
Luthuli also warned matriculants against alcohol abuse and protests at varsities.
Umkhokha TV drama actress and Gagasi FM personality Hope Mbhele, who is also from the area, warned recipients about the pressures at tertiary institutions, saying it was important to maintain their cultural identity and not lose focus.
“As you will be leaving your home village to the big cities where these institutions are, you will find a lot of temptations. Please don't fall for that.
“Some people will offer you alcohol and you will think you are a cool person if you do those things,” said Mbhele.
Speaking on behalf of the previous farm owners, Errol Koekemoer congratulated the recipients, adding he had known Luthuli since the early 1990s and they have maintained a good relationship with him.
Each of the five matriculants received R400 000 over years which the CPA will pay towards their tuition fees, accommodation and other needs.
On top of that, each will receive a monthly R2500 stipend as pocket money until the completion of their degree.
Each recipient will also receive a laptop. The CPA also paid the registration fees for 12 local matriculants.
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