Ivan Cloete, a farmer in the Western Cape, will no longer be evicted from his farm.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development, an eviction order issued by the National Land Acquisition and Allocation Control Committee against Cloete, should be overturned after an investigation was launched into the matter.
Cloete faced being evicted from a farm previously allocated to him by the department.
The eviction was allegedly carried out “to make way for an MK veteran”.
Cloete was allocated a farm in Colenso, but was then given a relocation notice.
However, in a report on the investigation conducted by the department – and submitted to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mandla Mandela – Minister Thoko Didiza said: “It is clear that, ever since 2012, Mr Cloete was not treated fairly.”
“The reasons tabled on the investigation report highlight the suspicious predetermined decision by senior officials at a provincial and national level to allocate the farm to military veterans, leaving Mr Cloete stranded yet again,” said Didiza.
She added that Cloete’s case highlighted improper conduct and irregularities in the department’s land acquisition process.
“This case portrays the department as being cruel and lacks empathy in dealing with real issues that affect lives and livelihoods.”
Western Cape Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said that Cloete’s saga was a “sad” story of the injustice in the country’s land reform.
“Farmer Ivan Cloete can now celebrate Human Rights Day with his family and his agri-workers on his farm… this is a victory for all farmers in South Africa,” he said.
The DA welcomed Didiza’s report, saying they would now be calling for disciplinary action to be taken against the department’s officials who were at the “forefront of harassing Mr Cloete with an unlawful eviction order”.
Picture: Democratic Alliance