He was an ANC councillor when the squabble began.
Former EFF parliamentarian Pro Khoza is a subject in the Badplaas land claims case taking place at the Tshwane High Court where the Mpumalanga government is being sued R1.2 billion.
He is accused of having been the leader of a protest that took place and allegedly saw community members damaging ecotourism businessman Fred Daniel’s Nkomazi Wilderness farm business.
Khoza, who was ANC councillor then, was unhappy that Daniel had bought land in his community and then evicted the farm-dwellers from their homes of many years on the portions of farms he was buying – to put wild animals on the land instead.
The trial is currently ongoing at the Tshwane High Court.
Daniel said when he bought 89 farms in the Badplaas and Barberton areas he began being enemies with politicians who had their sights set on the same pieces of land he was buying.
Daniel alleged in court that community members were mobilised to sabotage his safari lodge game farm, harassing and cutting off the farm’s fence – accusing him of owning land belonging to dispossessed community members.
He sues for loss of corporate opportunities and profits while politicians were sabotaging his business.
Former Badplaas police detective Kobus Vermeulen was the third witness to give testimony at the virtual civil trial in Tshwane.
Vermeulen told judge Cassim Sardiwalla that on the Sunday of 27 July 2008, Daniel phoned the cops and wished to report a matter of young people cutting the fence of his farm, reports Daily Maverick.
“While we were still at the [farm], Mr Pro Khosa arrived… and he started shouting at us while we were still busy talking to the two [young men] who we were warning not to use the damaged fence as the entry or exit,” said Vermeulen.
“He called us names and he made the whole situation uncomfortable,” the former cop said.
Soon afterwards, the following day, a march was allegedly led by Khoza to the Badplaas police station, looking for Vermeulen – accusing him of harassing the two young men found on the farm. Parents of the boys were also allegedly part of the march.
“I found maybe more than 30 people waiting for me,” the witness told the court this week.
“As I entered the police station, they immediately got hostile and at no stage could I get a word in with the parents of the juveniles,” he said.
ALSO SEE: Who is Pro Khoza?
He said the angry mob told the cops that they would not leave the station until they had spoken to Vermeulen.
“And at that stage, Mr Pro Khosa assaulted me physically, by grabbing me around the neck and throwing me into the charge office area. He told us straight that nobody will leave the police station until he’s done.”
Vermeulen told the court that the matter had to do with land claims.
(edited by MLM)
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