Approximately 1000 people arrived at Andries Pienaar’s farm situated in Virginia, Free State on Monday morning to occupy it.
The landgrabbers were busy putting their name on the list in order to claim their piece of land while the police on the scene were waiting for or reinforcements from Bloemfontein.
The people have already begun to measure about 150 hectares of farm Christiana, adjacent to the Meloding Township, at about 8:00
Johan Terblanche, from the firefighting association, said the occupiers had burned the field and firefighters were already battling it out to take control of the fire.
About 300 hectares, including the occupied land, have already been burned down.
Some of the landgrabbers say the field is burned so that “snakes and other animals can flee” where the people want to measure their plots.
The occupiers say their ANC councillor, Seun Diphoko, said they could measure plots here because the Matjhabeng municipality is going to purchase the land by Pienaar.
Diphoko apparently gave permission to people at a community meeting on Sunday to occupy the land on Monday.
Pienaar said on Monday he did not know anything about a possible transaction.
Beside Pienaar’s occupied land, there are vacant municipal as well as state land. The question to this whole debacle is: Why occupy the farmers land, when there is unused land?