[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Namibia expropriates first farm
Hilde Wiese
Hilde Wiese holds up the letter evicting her from her home
The Namibian government has begun the expropriation of white-owned farms.

The ex-owner of the first farm to face a compulsory purchase, Hilde Wiese, told the BBC she was paid a third of the sum she asked for - about $500,000.

Mrs Wiese and the 60 black workers and their families living on the farm will have to leave by the end of the year.

Expropriation orders have been served on 18 commercial farmers. The government says it aims to settle close to 250,000 landless people.

Fears

The president of the Namibia Agricultural Union, Raimar von Hase, says that fears the exercise may take on forms of violent farm invasions, as in neighbouring Zimbabwe, are unfounded.

"There is absolutely no indication that there is a development that could remotely lead to comparisons with Zimbabwe," he told the BBC's Frauke Jensen in Namibia.

Namibia has about 4,500 commercial farmers, about half of them whites.

Some 42% of the country is commercial farmland, 43% communal or tribal land, and the rest is protected wildlife area.

Farm

Mrs Wiese, the owner of Ongombo West, a 4,000 ha hectare cattle, flower and vegetable growing farm, 50km east of the capital, Windhoek, said she and her family will be leaving the farm that has been in her family since 1904 by the end of November this year.

"We have cried for too long now. We are embittered, but we have no choice and we have to make the best of it," Mrs Wiese said by telephone.

Her greatest worry, she says, are the 12 workers and their 60 odd dependants, who are expected to leave the farm as well.

"We have to pay them for the years they have worked for us, but we have no idea what will happen to them then. That is the responsibility of the government," she says.

She says it it is ironic that the people who should be benefitting from land reform will be the ones without a home and an income.


SEE ALSO:
Namibia's worried white farmers
06 Sep 02 |  Africa
Country profile: Namibia
20 Jul 04 |  Country profiles


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific