An emerging female Farmer and a founder of Hope Field shared farm located in Kenton-On-Sea, Linda Sokutu, spoke of her sleepless nights as a result of constantly losing cattle. She said some were due to untraceable disappearance while others have been beaten to death.
Sokutu is one of the 21 members of the shared Hope Field Farm. She said she had initiated the idea of applying for the farm to Rural Development and Land Reform and kindly recruited in the other community members who had stray cattle. Yet now she is concerned that some of the members she recruited have turned against her.
As the owner of 48 cattle Sokutu said she was the main member as she has the majority of cattle on the farm. She complained that six of the members have conspired to exclude her from being part of the farm.
According to Sokutu, the exclusion from the farm, which she puts down to petty jealousy, is because her husband works for Ndlambe Municipality. “
“But then Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, told them that I qualify to be part of a farm because I do not work.”
Sokutu spoke of how they were intentionally making her life difficult.
“Gunyazile Singqoto took the farm keys and went to stay in the farm house without other member’s consent, appointing himself as himself as a watchman,” alleged Sokutu. “Now he does not allow me access to the farm to check on my cattle and dip them. I have to open a hole with pliers to get entrance into the farm,” she said.
According to Sokutu, the other fourteen members are equally unhappy with Singqoto’s position.
“Procedurally a person should be elected by all members, and we wanted another member, Zakuthini Kafile, to stay on farm.” Sokutu said.
Sokutu also alleged that Singqoto hunted animals on the farm and used the money for his personal needs instead of bringing it to other farm members.
“There is no one coming into the farm from outside. There is one person who stays in the farm but when I ask him [Singqoto] about the death of my calf he said he does not know and just mocks me and my husband. I am the only person who constantly loses cattle in this farm because my husband is an employee of municipality,” alleged Sokutu.
Sokutu has reported the matter to the police but say that they tried to help but acted too slowly. Things remain the same and say they need evidence, that I must have seen someone beating up the cattle. I cannot have that kind of evidence because I do not stay on the farm. But my cattle are still dying.”
She said she has made several efforts attempts to fix the situation and even produced a letter from Faku Attorney to Singqoto to stand down from his self-appointed position.
TOTT gave Singqoto an opportunity to respond to the claims made by Sokutu but did not want to respond. Pressed for an answer Singqoto replied, “I got the keys from our chairperson so you can talk to him”.