Mxolisi Kaunda MEC for Transport and Safety, Liaison in KwaZulu Natal. File picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Mxolisi Kaunda on Tuesday called on members of the Sibuyelwe Matiwane community trust near Colenso and the traditional leadership who are embroiled in a land dispute to work together.  

Kaunda, who has been named as the new mayor of eThekwini to replace Zandile Gumede, was addressing members of the community of Msuluzi under Inkosi Mabaso following a land dispute.

The MEC urged both the trust and the traditional leadership to resolve the dispute amicably and observe the rule of law. He also called on traditional leaders to respect the court interdict which prevents illegal sale and occupation of land under the trust.

“I have issued a clear instruction to the police that they must enforce the court interdict and anyone who continues to build illegally in the land under the trust must be arrested," said Kaunda.

"If the traditional leadership has a problem with the manner in which the land was allocated to the trust, it must approach the court. 
  
“We also want to call on members of the trust to continue to respect the traditional leadership. Equally, the traditional leadership must respect the rule of law."

In 1998 the community, through Sibuyelwe Matiwane Community Trust, lodged a land claim with the department of land affairs.

The claim was investigated by the land claims commission in 2002, the then minister of land affairs approved the claim of 8,000 hectares of land. From 2002 the department began to release the land to the trust beneficiaries.

Kaunda said since the land falls under Inkosi Mabaso, it was alleged that a local Induna was illegally selling land to people from outside in the community. 

The chairperson of the trust claimed that about 20 houses have been illegally built on the land. In an attempt to stop the illegal sale of land, the trust successfully sought a court interdict to prevent illegal occupation of the land.

Kaunda, who yet to take up the mayorship, said he will discuss the matter with the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Sipho Hlomuka and request him to engage the traditional leadership in the area. 

African News Agency (ANA)