In this file picture, Red Ants demolish shacks built illegally on a piece of land. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla.
In this file picture, Red Ants demolish shacks built illegally on a piece of land. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla.

Crooked officials must be charged for trying to evict people off state land, soliciting bribes

Time of article published Nov 24, 2020

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By Jabulani Malinga

The allegations that some government officials have written illegal letters of evictions and attempted to syphon bribes from individuals and communities who reside on state land are disturbing.

They should be investigated, and the crooked officials charged.

It cannot be that when the government is taking steps to address land reform, the people trusted to perform the duty are derailing the process by unduly benefiting through criminal means. Their unscrupulous behaviour should be condemned and reported to the police and be brought to the attention of the Office of Acting Director-General Mooketsa Ramasodi.

Crime is a two-way street, requiring a perpetrator and an enabler. Community members should be careful that they do not play the role of “enablers” by paying the bribe.

South Africans have lost enough from fraud and corruption.

Corrupt government officials should be rooted out of the public service. What is more appalling is that they are so brazen to use a credible process such as the land rights inquiry, which seeks to make sure that all stateowned land is accounted for.

Minister Thoko Didiza said the land rights inquiry’s main purpose was not to destabilise farmers who have been farming and producing in farms in the past.

Rather, it put in place a state land administration and management system that ensure security of land tenure, stability and provide an opportunity for sustainable food security and economic growth.

The Star

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