Photo of author

By Dimakatso Modipa

Aggrieved beneficiaries of the Mjejane Trust Fund marching at the masters of high court to demand trust's administrator Pieter Zeelie to be fired from his position
Aggrieved beneficiaries of the Mjejane Trust Fund marching at the masters of high court to demand trust’s administrator Pieter Zeelie to be fired from his position

Aggrieved beneficiaries of the Mjejane Trust Fund, which is based in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga Province, are fed up with the trust’s administrator Pieter Zeelie and want him to be fired from his position with immediate effect.

To this end, 300 of the members of the trust fund drove all the way from Komatipoort and descended on the headquarters of the Master of the High Court in Tshwane on Thursday, to petition him to remove the apparently errant Zeelie from his position at the helm of the trust.

The protesting marchers revealed that the decision to seek remedy for their predicament in this matter from the Master of the High Court is informed by the fact that Zeelie was appointed administrator of the Mjejane Trust Fund by the selfsame High Court.

Marching from Princess Park to the High Court, the beneficiaries of the trust accused Zeelie of corruption and of selling their forefathers’ land and thereafter pocketing the proceeds of the sale.

Mjejane Trust Fund committee member Jonas Madonsela told Tshwane Talks that as a representative entrusted with the welfare of the beneficiaries, Pieter Zeelie’s actions have raised many serious concerns.

“Allegations of misconduct, including fraudulent activities and failure to fulfil fiduciary duties by Zeelie have come to light,” said Madonsela.

“Despite his role being that of verifying beneficiaries and distributing the trust’s proceeds to beneficiaries, no beneficiary has received even a single cent from the trust since it was established in 2004,” revealed Madonsela.

He said in the midst of all this Zeelie has profited personally from the finances of Mjejane Trust Fund and moreover, Zeelie has created a fraudulent share certificate in blatant disregard of professional ethics expected of an officer of the court.

Madonsela said this was a violation of the trust placed in him (Zeelie) by both the court and the beneficiaries.

Holding the petition aloft, Madonsela announced that the document served as a formal complaint that urges thorough investigation and appropriate action against Zeelie.

“The investigation will safeguard the interests of the trust’s beneficiaries and uphold the integrity of the legal system.

The Mjejane Trust Fund beneficiaries are descendants of a group of people who were forcefully removed from their land known as Tenschbush in 1954 by the apartheid government.

The said land lies between present-day Komatipoort and Hectorspruit in Mpumalanga Province.

According to Madonsela, the descendants of the victims of the forced removal came together in the year 2000 and lodged a claim for the said land.

In 2005 the land claimants won their case in the High Court and an administrator of the trust was appointed.

Pieter Zeelie, according to Madonsela, is not the original administrator of the trust fund.

“He was only appointed as the trust’s administrator after he (Zeelie) made allegations that the original board of trustees of the Mjejane Trust Fund had embezzled about R70 million of the fund,” revealed Madonsela.

“But to date Zeelie hasn’t shared with beneficiaries or members of the community the investigative report that supposedly supports his allegations against the original trustees of Mjejane Trust,” lamented Madonsela.

Madonsela pointed out that Zeelie’s appointment as a administrator of the fund had no end date and that he doesn’t account to anyone.

“There is no segregation of duties, he does as he wants with the finances of the trust; he prepares invoices payable to himself, his family members and associates and makes decisions by himself even if they are to the detriment of the trust fund,” fumed Madonsela.

“As of May 2024, there is not even a single beneficiary who has been verified by Zeelie and this is contrary to his mandate as stipulated in the High Court when he was appointed administrator of the Mjejane Trust Fund,” said Madonsela.

He said this scenario makes it impossible for the beneficiaries to run the trust on their own as they can’t hold elections to appoint people of their choice to work as trustees.

“Presently the trust fund only benefits Mr Zeelie, and the elderly in the community are dying without seeing the benefits of the land from which they were forcefully removed in 1954,” said Madonsela.

The memorandum of the Mjejane Trust Fund Beneficiaries, who were marching together with the Nkomazi Parliament and the local Laudium Atteridgeville Saulsville Civics Association (LASCA), was received by Deputy Master of the High Court Nthabiseng Ntwana, who promised to peruse the petition and revert to the beneficiaries in due course.

Meanwhile, LASCA leader Tshepo Mahlangu told Tshwane Talks that his organisation stands in solidarity with members of the Nkomazi Parliament who supported the march, and that administrator Pieter Zeelie must stop being racist and listen to the pleas of the beneficiaries, which entail vacating the position of administrator with immediate effect.


  1. Mr Zeelie must leave us in peace we need our land he never gives us any thing we need our land now is time to move him away


Leave a comment