Boois enters Paradys grazing fight

25 Jun 2013 04:20
BERSEBA, 25 JUN (NAMPA) - Berseba Constituency Councillor and Member of Parliament (MP) Dawid Boois says land at Paradys village in the Berseba area should not be treated as private land because it belongs to the State.
Speaking to Nampa on Monday after he met with three farmers who are fighting over land for grazing at Paradys village, Boois said communal farmers and the traditional authority at Berseba should not treat State land as their private land.
Farmer Hendrik Visser is in a dispute with former Keetmanshoop Mayor Arnold Losper and his brother Antonius Losper, who refuse to allow him to let his animals graze in the area as the siblings say there is not enough grazing there.
The Lospers are also not happy with the fact that Visser moved from Groenveldputs village with his goats to settle at Paradys without consulting the recognised /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority of Berseba.
According to Visser, he was granted permission to settle at Paradys by the Goliath Traditional Authority, which is not recognised, in 2009, hence he did not see the need to speak to the /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority when he moved.
Amongst other allegations, Visser is accusing the Lospers of stopping his sheep and goats from drinking at the Government borehole at Paradys by withholding the key to the water pump.
The Lospers, who are members of the water point management committee, denied the allegation, saying ?there is always water in the tank? even if they take the key.
The farmers have also laid charges of animal cruelty, trespassing and damage to property against each other.
Boois said to settle the dispute, he intervened and decided to discuss the matter with Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi in order to see if Visser can be relocated somewhere else within a period of four months.
The meeting went sour after the Losper brothers apparently asked the politician to brief the /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority about his decision because they think his intervention is ?biased? and aimed at ?saving? Visser so that he can remain at Paradys.
Arnold Losper, who walked out of the meeting, accused Boois of being biased, apparently because he supports the Goliath Traditional Authority. He added that this is a traditional authority matter, and Boois is not capable of handling it.
His brother added that Boois admitted that he is from the Goliath clan.
?Why is he refusing to speak to the recognised authority? Now he wants us to follow the decision that he made, but we will not do that,? he stated.
To this, Boois responded by once again confirming that he supports the Goliath Traditional Authority.
?Yes, I am from the Goliath clan, but I am acting as a Government representative in this matter. My decision is not biased as Arnold called it,? he said.
He also made it clear that he will not speak to the /Hai-/Khaua about the matter, because he got the complaints from farmers, and not the traditional authority.
Deputy Captain of the /Hai-/Khaua, Stephanus Goliath last week told Nampa the matter is being dealt with by the authority and the Lospers were warned to stop taking the law into their own hands.
Goliath even requested that the regional Directorate of Rural Water Supply remove the water pump at the Paradys water point to stop the row between the farmers.
This was not supported by Boois, who said the borehole belongs to the community so it cannot be closed.
?The water point belongs to the community of Paradys, we cannot allow it to be closed because three people are fighting. We better find a better way to stop the dispute,? Boois said.
Acting Regional Head at the Directorate of Rural Water Supply, Jacobus Jahr on Friday said he wrote a letter to the head office in Windhoek for a decision on what should be done about the water point.