Home News Cloete eviction: ‘Stop farm capture or face Zondo’

Cloete eviction: ‘Stop farm capture or face Zondo’

This is the warning of Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape minister of agriculture following his visit to farmer Ivan Cloete. Meyer calls on minister Thoko Didiza to see that Cloete’s pending eviction is halted

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Western Cape minister of agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer has called on the national government to rectify the “land mismanagement” that will see a West Coast farmer, Ivan Cloete, evicted from his Colenso farm in Darling.

On Monday, 1 February 2021 a delegation of high-level government officials notified Cloete that his lease was terminated.

Ivan Cloete, a Western Cape pig farmer who now has to vacate his state farm in Darling in the West Coast. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
Ivan Cloete, a pig farmer who now has to vacate his state farm in Darling in the West Coast. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

This was despite productively working the Colenso land for more than a year. Cloete is now faced with eviction from the third farm allocated to him by the state.

Given his status as a MK veteran, a new tenant was given preference in terms of state policy, government confirmed.

“That is my life. I was given rights here. The department knew I was here. They placed me here and did not offer anything else,” Cloete said in an earlier interview with Food For Mzansi.

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His removal comes after deputy president David Mabuza promised that productive farmers would not be evicted under the land redistribution programme.

Cloete has since accused government officials of violating his human rights and intimidation. Officials who facilitated Cloete’s placement on the Colenso farm in 2019 will face disciplinary action. This was confirmed by Reggie Ngcobo, the spokesperson for minister Thoko Didiza.

Cloete is not alone

Meanwhile Constitutional law expert prof. Elmien Du Plessis said following Food For Mzansi’s article, she received several queries from other farmers who have faced similar challenges with government. 

“Since Mr Cloete’s story went public, I have received many similar queries. It is important that we find a way to deal with these issues. A Land Redistribution Act should be a priority, giving a clear indication of who should benefit,” she said.

A MK veteran has now been assigned to the Colenso farm in Darling in the Western Cape. Until now, it was managed by award-winning pig farmer Ivan Cloete. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
A MK veteran has now been assigned to the Colenso farm in Darling in the Western Cape. Until now, it was managed by award-winning pig farmer Ivan Cloete. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Meyer said his recent visit to Cloete’s farm highlighted national government’s mismanagement of land reform in South Africa.

“Mr Cloete is effectively being denied security of tenure on Colenso.

(This is) despite having been moved from previous farms twice through no fault of his own, but rather due to national government’s failure to implement and manage land reform projects under its responsibly.”

Meyer further called for the planned eviction of Cloete to be immediately stopped.

Long-term agreement

Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape minister of agriculture. Photo: Supplied
Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape minister of agriculture. Photo: Supplied

“The planned eviction of Mr Cloete must be stopped given the prohibition of all evictions, save by order of a competent Court in terms of Regulation 37(1) of the Regulations issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002,” he said.

Earlier, government indicated that it had entered into a long-term lease agreement with Cloete. 

Meyer said, “Therefore, I have written to the national minister to act in terms of the Constitution and the rule of law to prevent Mr Ivan Cloete’s unjust eviction on his farm in Darling

“The national minister must immediately stop the state capture of the farm Colenso or face the Zondo Commission.”

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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.
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