BREAKING NEWS: Ivan Cloete will no longer be evicted from his farm after Department relents to DA pressure

Issued by Annette Steyn MP – DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
19 Mar 2021 in News

The DA welcomes the decision taken by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to withdraw its unlawful eviction order against Mr Ivan Cloete and restore his full farming rights to the Colenso farm in Darling, Western Cape. Mr Cloete will now be allocated Colenso farm, which is the farm that he currently resides in, and provided with a 30 year lease agreement on the same terms that are applicable to commercial leases.

The DA will now be calling for disciplinary action to be taken against DALRRD officials who were at the forefront of harassing Mr Cloete with an unlawful eviction order.

In a report, on the investigation conducted by DALRRD into the Cloete matter, submitted to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mandla Mandela, the Department admitted that ‘It is clear that ever since 2012, Mr Cloete was not treated fairly’. In fact, the report goes on to say that:

‘From the investigation, it is clear that the Colenso farm was to be allocated to Mr Cloete but senior officials of the Department decided to allocate it to yet another person’ 

This confirms what the DA has always argued, the DALRRD has been hijacked by corrupt officials who took it upon themselves to parcel out land to their preferred recipients while trampling on the rights of defenceless citizens who have no friends in high places.

According to the report, the case demonstrated irregularities and improper conduct which placed Mr Cloete in a difficult position as he was made to move from one place to another. The report recommends that:

‘Consequence management be taken against all senior management and officials who participated in the identified irregularities and mismanagement’ 

The DA will make sure that this recommendation is applied to the fullest extent possible and that no farmer will once again be targeted in such a brazen disregard for the law, as happened with Mr Ivan Cloete.

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