Their ancestral land was important to them; it was fertile - helping them grow much needed crops, but between 1963 and 1967 they were evicted from their land, their homes bulldozed, not giving them enough time to pack their belongings.
Today, the surviving direct descendants of the Ribungwane people, who had been dispossessed of their land those many years ago, finally have something to smile about writes Nthambeleni Gabara
Descendents of the Ribungwane tribe recently received monetary vouchers from the South African government. A total of 182 land claimants received vouchers, while a further 77 will receive what is due to them before the end of the year. The majority of beneficiaries, who are illiterate, will each pocket over R54 000.
The land under claim is Portion 1 and 2 of the farm Koedespoort 402 LS, Grootplaats 399 LS, Portion 1 and 2 of the farm Buffelshoek 403 LS and Groenkloof 86 LT in the Vhembe District under the Makhado Municipality.
Currently, the piece of land under claim is used for grazing, ploughing and residential purposes by the neighbouring Tshivenda speaking Nthabalala community.