By Bishop Mbungela

This article appeared in the Inyanda Community News newspaper, which is published every two months by the Inyanda National Land Movement and distributed nationwide through its affiliate organisations. 

Former farmer dwellers and former farm workers from a large farm in Limpopo are accusing the owner, Mr Riaan du Plessis, of demolishing and planting on their ancestors’ graves, while leaving the graves of the whites on the same farm untouched.

On the 18th of February, Mr Du Plessis, represented by his attorney, and the families, represented by Nkuzi Development Association and the Mopani Farmers Association had a meeting in Tzaneen at the attorney’s office.

Mr Du Plessis claimed that there was no sign whatsoever of the graves at the farm. However the family had evidence that was proving him wrong. “I bought the farm a long time ago from Mr Van Dyk, and no one ever made an appointment to come and visit the graves,” he said. He also indicated that Mr Van Dyk never disclosed any information about graves on the farm except for the one of the whites.

Mr Van Dyk, the former farm owner acknowledged that there are indeed graves on the farm, however he said the graves were not for the sePedi speaking people but for the Blantan.

Mr Du Plessis’s attorney proposed that they arrange another meeting which will take place at the farm. He suggested that everyone who is involved should be there to identify the graves.

“If needs be, more investigation must take place to make sure that indeed there are or there no graves,” said Mr Du Plessis

Nkuzi, the family members and Mopani Farmers Association agreed on setting another appointment,

“We are appealing to all farm owners to please respect our ancestor’s graves, that’s all we asking,’’ a concerned family member requested.

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