Some land claimants from Dzumeri outside Giyani in Limpopo are accusing the Land Claims Commission of withholding their R10-million in compensation funds.

More than 300 claimants received over R100 000 as compensation in 2006, after their successful land claim. The commission kept R10-million, which was to be used for community development.

Claimants say when compensation funds for land that they lost were released, the commission informed them that R10-million of the funds would not be released to them, but would instead be used for community development.

The claimants say 15 years later, the development still has not been done.

Seventy-eight-year-old Mhlava Mabunda and 92-year-old Rangana Mabunda are some of the disgruntled beneficiaries: “We are not happy because we were not compensated as we were promised, they should have given us all of the money that was due to us.”

The two elderly beneficiaries say that the commission did not consult them when it was decided that a portion of their compensation would be used for community development.

“We were told on the day that we got the little that they gave us, when we asked why they were not giving our entire funds they said the other portion would go towards community development. They told us not to question them. Where is the library that they said they wanted to build.”

The Land Claims Commission’s Miyelani Nkatingi says the funds could not be released earlier, as the community did not have a legal entity into which the funds could be put.

Nkatingi says calls for the money to be handed to the beneficiaries are being looked into.