Free State govt evicts female farmer of the year

There were many reasons why the Free State’s Female Farmer of the Year of 2008, Kero Kgobe, had been evicted from her farm outside Bloemfontein, the Free State rural development department said on Wednesday.

But the main reason was that she was operating a shebeen on the farm, the department said.

Kgobe (46) was finally evicted from the farm Vergesocht after the local sheriff carried her household items out of the farmhouse and left it on the lawn.

Executive manager of Free State rural development and land reform, Gani Ramagaga, said Kgobe had a contract to rent part of Vergesocht.

“There are many reasons for the eviction, but the main one was that instead of farming she opened a shebeen on the farm.”

Ramagaga said Kgobe had a contract for six months for part of Vergesocht, but nothing was going on.

“She had a few cattle which she bought with her winning money as female farmer of the year.”

There were other transgressions such as constantly quarrelling with her neighbours, also a black female farmer, who was farming as a “caretaker” on another part of Vergesocht.

Ramagaga said the department’s contract with Kgobe was not renewed because of the transgressions.

The matter went to the high court after she refused to vacate the farm.

A local newspaper reported on Wednesday that Kgobe could not understand why government had entrusted her with a farm and then took it away again.

“I didn’t ask for the farm. Why did they give it to me and why are they taking it away again? This is a good example of how government is letting its people down,” she was quoted in the report.

She said the Land Affairs Department did not even offer her alternative lodgings.

“What am I supposed to do now? I have nowhere to go,” she was quoted.

Ramagaga denied this and said the farmer had alternative accommodation.

Referring to the other female farmer farming on Vergesocht, Ramagaga said she was “very capable” as a caretaker and was doing well as a farmer.

“She would probably excel further now that this woman [Kgobe] is off,” Ramagaga said.—Sapa

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