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Zululand community wants their ‘stolen’ R2.2 billion land back

A land claims case that aims to resolve a centuries-old dispute in northern KwaZulu-Natal began on Monday.

The right to ownership of 42 000 hectares of agricultural land in Mthonjaneni – a municipal area situated between Eshowe and Ulundi – is being presided over by Acting Judge of the Land Claims Court AJ Canca.

If the claimants are successful in their bid to take back the land, it will change the face of Zululand, possibly ousting multinational timber companies as well as smaller private sugar cane and timber farmers.

The Ntembeni, Makasaneni and Mthonjaneni communities have lodged claims to the land, valued at an estimated R2.2 billion.

About 37 000ha of the farmland belongs to timber companies Mondi and Sappi.

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