Reasons for Sit-in at the DLA Offices– Mrs. N. Mthembu, Chairperson LPM Dannhauser
Ntombizodwa Nkosi was evicted from the farm called Sleutelpoort and was dumped on the street. Community members were aggrieved about what Matebhe had done. The community then decided that they should fight against this. What angered the community was the victim was even deprived a chance to defend herself in the court of law as the law pronounces.
On the 28 July 2007 the community arranged a march against Johannes Bezuidenhout (Matebhe) the farm owner and the Department of Land Affairs. We demanded Johannes to reinstate the woman on farm. We gave an ultimatum of seven days. DLA was also the cause to this since they resolve our claims at a snail pace. We wanted clarity about the claims lodged and Ntombizodwa's eviction. We told them to stop eviction of people on farms.
On the 8th & 9th of August we the women on farms in the Dannhauser area forcefully gate crashed DLA offices in Newcastle and stopped the operations in that office for two days. We decided not to celebrate women's day whilst we are still being evicted on farms.
At this sit-in the Utrecht community supported us. This sit-in also revealed that claims that were lodged in 1999 have not been attended to. It also transpired that DLA also contributed to Ntombizodwa's eviction. Matebhe testified this.
On the second we decided to stop our action as we had made some agreements with the department. We agreed that there should be meetings on monthly basis to feedback on the progress. These meetings will involve community structures in the areas of Newcastle, Dannhauser and Utrecht. The department will stop evictions on farms by writing letters to the farmers instructing them to stop evicting people on farms. We did this since people are being evicted on daily basis, yet they lodged claims. Who will benefit when the claims are resolved if people are continuously being evicted, especially women who have lost their husbands.
The department will talk to Johannes to reinstate Ntombizodwa. Everybody who took part in the sit-in vowed to fight against any eviction of women on farms. Women became more mobilized and they were brave to confront the farmers, who are oppressing us. We shall unite and with one voice say Phansi noMatebhe Phansi.