Deputy President David Mabuza says land restitution remains a key ingredient in restoring dignity to those who were dispossessed.

He was speaking at a ceremony to hand over title deeds for 9 000 hectares of land belonging to claimants from the GaMopedi and Seoding communities in the Northern Cape.

Mabuza says the aim is to heal South Africa of the pain that the apartheid government’s land dispossession caused.

“We are returning the same land today, through the rule of law as opposed to the use of force that causes pain and suffering to humanity. We do this so that we do not repeat the acts of the past that has caused so much suffering; so much pain; so much rapture to the fabric of our nation.”

Some claimants have expressed joy at receiving the title deeds while others say the process has not been entirely fair.

“I am so happy. Even if I could die today, I would be happy. I will not be poor anymore.”