Twenty-five years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of a jail a free man. His legacy is a complicated one, nowhere more so than in a Free State village still trying to work through land issues. RICHARD POPLAK marks a quarter-century anniversary in Naledi, Eastern Free State Highlands.
Naledi, population one hundred, sits a few kilometres from the Lesotho border, in the shadow of the Maluti mountains. It is, I suppose, a typical rural South African community, nestled between the past and the future, between Apartheid and whatever has followed. Naledi’s inhabitants have always worked the enormous farms belonging to white men, but until very recently, no one in Naledi owned any land. If the neighbouring farmer was benevolent, then the villagers were safe. If the farmer was an asshole, then they were not safe at all. Recently, after a local landowner sold a vast parcel of property, eight families were removed from their homes and relocated to the side of the road. Not unlike cattle, no one asked how they felt about the situation. Naledi had no electricity, water was brought in by truck, and the local school has a budget of R3,000 a year.
Nonetheless, Naledi votes ANC. If…
Source : Daily Maverick