The forced eviction of Isabel Mngadi embodies rural women struggling to own or access land. Mngadi, 63, was forced to flee her family’s 13ha farm in Ndwedwe, about 60km north of Durban, a few years ago after allegedly receiving death threats from a relative. She claims that after her mother died in 2011 she began receiving threatening SMSes from her nephew telling her to leave the homestead or face the consequences. "I tried to go to the local chief but he said he could not help me because this was a family issue and we must sort it as a family," Mngadi says. "I fled when the threats increased. Since then my nephew has been renting out the homestead. He has sold about four plots on the land to people who have built homes." Most land in SA’s rural areas is administered under customary law by chiefs and other traditional leaders. In KwaZulu-Natal most rural land is administered by the Ingonyama Trust, a schedule 3A public entity reporting to the minister of rural development & land re...

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