Mr Chairman, according to media reports, the Free State Female Farmer of the year for 2008, Ms Kero Kgobe, has been ordered by the High Court to vacate the farm Vergezocht, which she has been renting from the state. But she refuses to do so and now apparently lives in a vehicle on the farm.
According to reports, she was also found guilty in the Bloemfontein magistrate's court in April 2009 for shooting two gemsbok illegally on a farm with an AK47.
The once-flourishing farm was sold to the state in 2007 for R8 million and Kgobe became the first farmer to rent it from the state. Today the farm is in shambles, with only a handful of cattle, sheep and pigs remaining. In addition to this, allegations have surfaced that she has been illegally operating a shebeen on the farm.
These shocking allegations indicate that there is no follow-up assistance and support from government for emerging farmers once farms have been awarded. Had government provided the necessary support and guidance, these disastrous circumstances involving an award-winning emerging farmer would not have developed.
There are many other emerging farmers faced with similar problems. The question remains whether, despite these allegations, Ms Kgobe could have made a success of the farm. But as a result of inadequate support and guidance, she is now faced with criminal charges. Why did the provincial government not anticipate these problems arising? What criteria were used to determine the winner? What form of support, guidance and mentorship does the government extend to emerging farmers? The government should account for that. I thank you. [Applause.]