Ancestral land excavation activities irks descendents

DIKGALAOPENG – Direct descendents of Dikgalaopeng village outside Groblersdal have expressed concerns over excavation of land in parts of the area by people searching for sand.

According to the claimants the excavation activities are continuing despite a prevention court order by the Gauteng North High Court obtained in 2011.

The claimants are irksome that the excavators of the ancestral land with graves dating back to the 18s were now disturbing peace of their forefathers.

The claims, Dithomo Tsa Bokone Trust, further said that the court order prohibited any form of activity on the part of land including development.

Kgatledi Maabane, Dithomo Tsa Bokone Trust Chairperson, said they were disturbed by the increase in number of graves dug by people excavating sand in the area even after Pretoria High Court issued a court order in 2011 instructing traditional authorities to stop any development on the claimed land.

Maabane worried that there were signs that the state that mining of sand is prohibited in the area but people continue to excavate their ancestral land.

Frans Mathala, another descendent, said they confronted some of the sand miners who were caught digging in the area, without permission from any traditional authority, and reported them but that did not help as the same excavators continued their activities and destroyed their ancestral land and graves.

The residents added that they have decided to take the matter into their own hands and close roads leading to the area to be able to deal with those caught on the marked land as they have tried several times to talk to the perpetrators without success.

They said they were aware that both tribal authorities in the area had stopped issuing permits to excavators of the land as they agreed it was in violation of the court order.

Jeff Walker, a community leader, said the law needed to take its cause because the situation may lead into a tribal war.

Thapelo Motseo

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