OPINION

300 land grabbers in White River stopped – AfriForum

Organisation says quick reaction and effective coordination led to the speedy removal of the occupiers from the scene

AfriForum and SAPS stop 300 land grabbers in White River 

23 July 2018

The civil rights organisation AfriForum on 22 July 2018 helped to prevent land grabbers from occupying private land in White River, Mpumalanga in cooperation with the White River SAPS.

A group of approximately 300 people unlawfully occupied the land of a farmer in the White River area. The occupiers started fires to create ample space for their houses. The neighbourhood watch succeeded in extinguishing the fires and to cordon off the area to prevent further damage and occupation. 

Devon McCullough, Chairperson of AfriForum’s Nelspruit neighbourhood watch, accompanied the farmer to the police station to file a complaint of trespassing. Joe Pelser, Chairperson of the AfriForum neighbourhood watch in White River, coordinated members of the local neighbourhood watches to extinguish fires in cooperation with the fire brigade, as well as to safeguard the farm.

The SAPS and AfriForum’s quick reaction and effective coordination led to the speedy removal of the occupiers from the scene. AfriForum would like to thank the following institutions for their fast reaction: The police unit for public order, the SAPS flying squad, the SAPS K9 unit, the local fire brigade, as well as neighbourhood watches and all other safety institutions that were involved.

“Land owners are advised to join organised institutions such as AfriForum to protect their property rights. It is also advisable for community members to join local neighbourhood watches to help safeguard their communities,” says Llewellynn Hemmens, Assistant Safety Coordinator for the northern region.        

“Communities can oppose crimes like land occupation by organising themselves and taking the correct steps. We must be ready to act within the framework of the law to handle such crimes,” says Hillel Coetzer, AfriForum’s Safety Coordinator for the northern region.      

Become involved at your local AfriForum branch today: SMS your name to 45353 (R1).

Issued by Hillel Coetzer, Safety Coordinator: Northern region, AfriForum, 23 July 2018