Heartbreak and depression are taking its toll on those who have been evicted from their farms and lost everything they hold most dear and have worked for all their lives.
Many have passed away too soon from stress and worry, and many from no medical care because they cannot afford to pay the required subscription, and unable to support themselves and their dependents.
Here is one such case:
There was standing room only at John’s* funeral.
It was a glorious late summer day, grass tall and golden, cosmos flowering along the roadsides and the first orange flowers of the aloes offering colour to the sad day.
John shouldn’t have died yet; he was only 73. For 17 years he’d been fighting the seizure of his farm by the government and we’d all seen the stress taking a huge toll on his health.
Months behind on his rent, unable to keep up with medical bills and barely enough food for him and his wife, John had been living on charity for the last few years.
When he needed stents after a heart attack it should have been a simple matter, affordable if he had been paid compensation for his farm but 17 years later he still hadn’t received a single dollar.
John’s widow is alone now and her future is very precarious.
* Names and images have been changed for security reasons.