Land and Housing Rights in South Africa


The rural Zulu community of Nkwalini has been struggling against a neighboring farmer who is claiming that the land they have lived on for generations belongs to him. CCR met with Nkwalini residents over two days to hear their stories and document the human rights abuses that have occured due to this serious land dispute. 

In solidarity with a march and protest held on "Un-Human Rights Day", as residents of Nkwalini termed March 22, 2010, CCR sent a letter to South Africa's Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Department of Justice. The letter is attached here in full as a PDF. The introductory excerpt reads:

Dear Minister Gugile Nkwinti and Minister Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe,

We are writing to you from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) a human rights organization based in New York, and Take Back the Land, a land rights organization based in Miami. As part of an international monitoring delegation, a number of our attorneys and advocates met with the Rural Land Network of KwaZulu-Natal on March 4 and March 7, 2010 in the community of Nkwalini, KwaZulu-Natal. We spoke with a number of Nkwalini residents over two days because we had been informed that they were facing forced eviction from a local farmer. Based upon our observations, we are writing to express grave concern for the safety and the human rights of the Nkwalini residents. We urge you to fulfill your obligations under national and international law to protect the community members facing forced removal from their ancestral land.

Last modified 

January 14, 2015