MADONSA: Gavin Khumalo, the National Coordinator of the Centre for Socio Economic Rights and Development (CSERD, an organisation that protects the rights of citizens from forced evictions said they will take the Madonsa Royal Kraal to court to challenge the looming evictions.
This comes after the High Court granted the Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) an order to demolish new structures that were constructed on Farm 319 in Madonsa in alleged defiance of a previous court order.
According to a letter from the ENPF’s lawyers from Robinson Bertram addressed to the affected residents, they are accused of illegally occupying the land in defiance of the ruling by the Farm Dwellers Tribunal and the High Court of Eswatini, the residents are expected to vacate the land by 5 March 2021.
In an interview with this publication, Gavin Khumalo, the CSERD Coordinator said in 2012 the High Court stopped the eviction of about 50 residents from the farm belonging to the ENPF and had also ordered that the allocation of land to new settlers be halted until the matter was finalised in court. However the Madonsa inner council led by Indvuna Malangeni Dlamini defied the court order and continued to allocate the land to five (5) new settlers, the ENPF has since acquired a court order to evict the new residents.Khumalo noted that the Madonsa inner council should be held accountable for this mess since they allocated the land to the affected residents when the case pending in court.
“The Madonsa royal kraal should own up to this mess since they allocated land to the residents knowing very well that there is a case pending in court over the land in question. It’s painful that when it comes to these evictions, the residents suffer alone and the authorities responsible for the mess usually get away with it. This injustice must stop, we will take the Madonsa royal kraal to court even though they claim to be immune to prosecution. We want them to be accountable for their actions, its clear that their intention was to rob the people of their hard earned money, we would like them to be compensated for the damages they have suffered”, he said.
When reached for comments, Sibusiso Nhlabatsi, a Human Rights Lawyer said Chiefs are not immune to prosecution and the residents were right by seeking for the court’s intervention.
“Chiefs are not immune to prosecution, section 77 of the Constitution says they are represented by the Attorney General (AG) .The residents are well within their rights to seek the court’s intervention, but they should be aware that chiefs have a legal representation as per section 77 of the constitution”, said the Human Rights Lawyer.
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