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Didiza wants corrupt officials accused of evicting emerging farmers and taking bribes to face law

South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, said on Thursday that Covid-19 presented an opportunity to build a resilient agricultural sector in Africa. Filed Photo: GCIS

South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, said on Thursday that Covid-19 presented an opportunity to build a resilient agricultural sector in Africa. Filed Photo: GCIS

Published Nov 10, 2020

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AGRICULTURE, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza is clamping down on corrupt officials who are allegedly evicting emerging farmers and taking bribes of hundreds of thousands of rand from them.

Didiza told the media on Tuesday, on progress made in the release of 700 000 hectares of state land to emerging farmers, that the law must take its course against corrupt officials.

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It has been reported in recent weeks that some of the farmers were issued notices of eviction from their farms.

In the plan that was issued by Didiza last month she had said some of the farms they were earmarking for emerging farmers were already occupied, but there would be a land inquiry to determine their status.

However, on Tuesday she said they would not tolerate those officials who were issuing illegal eviction notices to farmers and demanding bribes.

"There have been allegations made about government officials who have written letters of eviction to individuals and communities on state land. In some instances there have been allegations of our officials demanding bribes of hundreds of thousands of rand to access land. This conduct is unacceptable and criminal. We want to advise our communities to bring these issues to the office of the acting director-general for attention and to the nearest police station," said Didiza.

The department of land reform and rural development has said it wants the youth, women and people with disabilities to benefit from the programme of state land to be released to emerging farmers.

This is part of the land reform that has been going on in the country for years now.

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The aim of the programme was not to destabilise farmers who were already working there. | Political Bureau

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