Four years ago the Ntuli/Fowler relationship could not have been in a worse position, but today the Ntuli family has been peacefully relocated and built a house in KwaHaza.
When Mpekeleli Ntuli retired in 2010 he left David Fowler’s Petrus Stroom Farm to live with his new wife. However, his three grandchildren opted to stay on the farm as they were working for Fowler, their children attended the local school and the house Mpekeleli had moved to was too small to accommodate the expanding family.
Over time the relationship between the Ntuli family and Fowler deteriorated and after many attempts to resolve their differences, Mpekeleli Ntuli’s family were willing to try mediation. For a number of reasons, the Ntuli family wanted to vacate the farm.
Fowler approached AFRA for help to negotiate an agreement and through several mediated sessions, a common ground was reached.
“I am happy I approached AFRA for legal advice. Siya [Sithole, AFRA’s Land Rights Advocate] is such a pleasant person to work with, he knows the law and I trusted his intervention,’’ he said.
The remaining Ntuli family members were able to relocate to KwaHaza after the house that agreed upon was built by Fowler in September, along with the installation of a rainwater tank. As a token of appreciation for Mpekeleli Ntuli’s long standing service, Fowler made a sizeable contribution towards a traditional ceremony that the family would hold upon moving home. Fowler also provided assistance in moving the furniture across to their newly built house.
The parties also agreed that the family graves would be accessible by the Ntuli’s and that they would be preserved from any desecration from farming activities.
Siya Sithole, AFRA’s Land Rights Advocate, was pleased with the outcome of the case. “This story is typical of the critical work that AFRA does on a daily basis, we are pleased to work with landowners who value, realise and protect the rights of occupiers,” he said.