East Coast farmers in feud over road

Seven years of tension between two neighbouring Eastern Cape farmers has erupted with a remote gate being ridden over by a bakkie and hundreds of metres of fencing flattened by a large truck.

Kwelera farmers Fritz Joubert, 42, and Victor Badenhorst, 73, have a number of gripes, but the latest is over a new gate for a road which Badenhorst is reluctant to share with Joubert.

They have been at war since 2010 when the Daily Dispatch reported Badenhorst, of farm 339 in Shadeview Valley, accusing Joubert, of farm 348, of cutting down his fence and building an access road, with Joubert saying: “We resolved the issue and shook hands.”

On Thursday each opened cases against the other at Gonubie police station after tensions flared earlier in the day.

Joubert admitted he installed a remote motorgate to the access road but failed to give a remote and password to Badenhorst.

He said he called Badenhorst twice to offer him the remote, but the calls were not picked up.

Badenhorst admitted to the Dispatch that he removed the gate from its rail and then drove over it with his car.

Joubert admitted that he retaliated by jumping into his 20-ton construction truck and flattening 500m of Badenhorst’s livestock fence, causing what Badenhorst claimed was R250000 in damages.

Badenhorst said: “I removed the gate to get to my house. Did he expect me to sleep in the street? He didn’t have a right to put up a gate there without negotiating with any of the people who use that road. I was tired and coming from work and didn’t have any means to get in.”

Badenhorst accuses Joubert of not respecting him by driving all night in front of his house and making changes to the road without asking for permission.

“He has his own road that he used to use but stopped in 2010 and cut through my fence here to construct a road.”

Joubert admitted that he constructed the new access road and installed a remote gate without Badenhorst’s permission.

“He was going to say no anyway. You can’t reason with that man. I improve everything for all of us and I installed the gate because cows get inside this access road,” said Joubert.

He said he tried to call Badenhorst to offer him a remote but Badenhorst failed to pick up the phone.

Joubert said when he drove back from work on Thursday afternoon in his Toyota double cab, he was greeted by his damaged gate.

“I got out of my bakkie and fetched a few of my men and asked them if they saw the person who destroyed my gate in which they replied it was the madala [Badenhorst].”

Joubert admitted that he used his 20-ton logging truck with its own crane to drive over the fence.

“I got inside my truck and drove over his fence,” he said.

Badehorst claimed Joubert held large, noisy, all-night parties.

Badenhorst claimed: “When he is drunk, he opens fire in my direction,” which Joubert dismissed as a lie, saying: “I do like to light up firecrackers from time to time”.

Joubert said: “I have shot and killed two of his dogs when they entered into my property because I thought they belonged to poachers. I would not have shot the dogs if I knew they belonged to him.”

By Malibongwe Dayimani with additional reporting by Lulutho Nontsele – DispatchLIVE

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