20 March 2013
A farmworker who was buried on the side road of a farm after he was evicted is be exhumed and reburied as part of an event to mark Human Rights Day in South Africa’s North West province on Thursday.
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti and North West Premier Thandi Modise will be part of the programme for the exhumation and reburial of the remains of Maruping Serole.
The ceremony will be held outside Liliespan farm near Lichtenburg from 9am and later in the morning at Buffelsdoorn farm outside Potchefstroom.
The reburial ceremony and the unveiling of a memorial plaque will also commemorate the centenary of the infamous 1913 Natives Land Act, while affirming the rights of farmworkers and the dispossessed.
Modise said this week that Serole’s case highlighted challenges related to the socio-economic conditions of communities living and working on farms in South Africa, such as employment and wages, housing and education.
“It also highlights underdevelopment, inequality and a need for land reform for both settlement and production for the benefit of the landless and dispossessed,” Modise said.
Following the incident in February 1999, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform acquired a farm measuring 21 hectares, and relocated 20 evicted households from Liliespan to the new farm in August 2000.
Subsequent to this, the department helped the community to form a legal entity, the Baitshoki Communal Property Association, to administer and manage land on their behalf.