South African victims of apartheid property confiscation claim land on the back of a bus

    by Matthew Ponsford, Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Thursday, 28 April 2016 19:38 BST

Garlic farmer Molly Nikelo peers out of a shack window in Nieu-Bethesda in the Karoo October 11, 2013. Stretching across the heart of South Africa, the Karoo has stirred emotions for centuries, a stunning semi-desert wilderness fit mainly for artists, hunters and the toughest of farmers. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Six specially adapted vehicles have travelled between remote rural communities in South Africa, inviting people to claim back land confiscated under racist laws in the apartheid era. 

Since April 2015, South Africans have lodged more than 27,000 legal claims at "mobile land claims offices" housed in buses and four-wheel-drive trucks, a land rights commission said.

Staff are registering claims for South Africans who were dispossessed of land after June 19, 1913 - when the notorious "Natives Land Act" came into force. The Act prevented black South Africans from owning land outside designated reservations which amounted to just 7 percent of agricultural land, though black South Africans formed 67 percent of the population.

Under the Act and subsequent legislation, more than 3 million people were forcibly relocated to black townships and "Bantustan" homelands.

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