UNHCR tents in illegal land-invasion Wallmansthal
14 January 2011 2 Comments
Dinokeng municipality runs illegal land-invasion with UNHCR tents – claims Pretoria official – ‘but they can’t do a thing about it…’
WALLMANSTHAL, HAAKDORINGLAAGTE, DINOKENG, KAMEELDRIFT. An emergency residents’ association security meeting with the Kameeldrift police is being held tonight about the large-scale illegal land-invasion in UNHCR-tents which is taking place at a hotly-disputed, ecologically-fragile land-site next to the world-famous Ludwig’s Roses Farm.
Black people arrive in luxury cars from as far away as Pietersburg and apparently have to pay about R1,000 each for a plot to ‘unknown sellers’. There are no infrastructure facilities at all – a road-grader is now cutting swathes of dirt-road while people are moving into large UNHCR-marked tents.
Deeply concerned local ratepayers have been monitoring the site ever since the arrival of the first tents on January 5. Yesterday residents noticed that from about 15H00 about 30 luxury-cars were parked at the road next to the plot and that people who had arrived in those cars, were erecting clearly marked UNHCR tents, with more people moving in. Despite an earlier Pretoria High Court order that no-one was allowed to settle on the site until all the infrastructure facilities were installed and working, people are moving in. There are no ablution, water-reticulation or electricity facilities at all at the site.
A yellow land-grader machine was creating ‘spaces for streets’. A Pretoria government official who gave his first name as Vusi yesterday confirmed in an email to local Afrikaans residents that the land invasion was illegal.
It is true they are selling stands…
The Pretoria official, first name Vusi, who confirmed that the land-invasion was illegal, wrote in a rather confusing email that ‘an attempt to evict those people with Dinokeng Municipality was made and we were taken to High Court because by law we are not allowed to operate around that area, though we were instructed to assist them because of the merging process that will take place soon. The High Court put it very clear that the City of Tshwane is not allowed to do operations around Walmansthal since this merging issue is still under discussion. I was there today to double check the allegations of illegal invasion. It is true that they are selling stands but there is less that we can do since we were stopped by the High Court. These tents were given to the municipality to replace demolished shacks and was done according to the High Court Order’.
The site is highly controversial: only a month earlier, in December 2010, the Pretoria High Court had ruled that no-one was allowed to be settled on the ecologically-fragile site until all the infrastructure facilities were first installed.
Cobus Claassen reported in Beeld earlier this month that no-one in the neighbouring Afrikaans communities had any inkling as to who might be behind the tent-camp and who will be living inside these UNHCR tents. Local Ward 5 councillor Arnold van Niekerk of the DA said nobody seemed to know who was behind it – but the proper procedures are certainly not being followed: there is no infrastructure at all, he pointed out.
The UNHCR’s spokeswoman Pumla Rulashe could not be reached for comment as to why their tents were being erected on the controversial site: it was originally handed over in a grand publicity-gesture to the Dinokeng community by the then-minister of Land Affairs Lulu Xingwana in 2007.
- Legal ratepaying residents have lodged formal objections to a later decision by the land-claims commissioner that the land then had to be handed over to the Dinokeng community in exchange for land which the Dinokeng tribe had demanded be given them from the adjacent Defence Force’s training centre.
South Africa’s premier rose-farm: site next door in throes of illegal land-invasion by Dinokeng tribal community
Picture above: Ludwig Tarschner, owner of the 50-hectare, premier rose-farm in South Africa, Ludwig Roses’s farm at Haakdoringlaagte, also set up a branch in the Western Cape. He sells 8000 varieties of roses with more than 40,000 well-established rose plants. The amiable, former East German refugee from communism developed the farm from scratch 38 years ago and now employs 130 local people. He has been attacked twice by black gunmen: the second time left him permanently disabled in one arm. Famous German rosegrower Ludwig Taschner shot, survives: http://www.facebook.com/pages/116752351671946#!/video/video.php?v=144535512008 http://www.ludwigsroses.co.za/
ILLEGAL LAND INVASION BY PEOPLE IN LUXURY CARS WITH UNHCR TENTS:
The photographs taken by local residents show that the tent city is still being erected and that it thus far has no ablution facilities. The people moving in show up in luxury cars and ‘don’t look like poor refugees,’ residents noted.
UN boosted refugee-budget in Southern Africa to $62-m last year…
While these clearly well-off people in their luxury cars, from all accounts are South African citizens and certainly no penniless refugees, it is worthy of note that the UN refugee agency boosted its southern African budget from more than $52-million in 2009 to $62-million (USD) last year. The southern African refugee commissioner’s office in Johannesburg handles all the regional refugee-activities for South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The largest number of refugees and displaced persons come or are still inside the increasingly dysfunctional country of Zimbabwe: totalling 9,200,000 persons according to the UNHCR’s latest known statistics. In December 2010 alone, more than 200,000 Zimbabweans applied for residency and/or political asylum in neighbouring South Africa.