Uncommon Ground

Tensions brew on the South Africa/Lesotho border

Uncommon Ground The majestic stone caves on the mountainous border of Lesotho are a magnet for spiritual pilgrims, drawn by the call of the ancestors. But these sites are on white owned farmland.
In a colourful ceremony, Ella Thabana is graduating today. She’s spent six months in the Badimong valley, or “Place of the Ancestors”, training as a sangoma or traditional healer. Her religion is a mix of traditional beliefs and Christianity. Like hundreds of others, Ella will return to Badimong from time to time as her ancestors make their wishes known. But conflict is brewing. White farmers say pilgrims have no right to trespass on private land. Farm murders have hardened white attitudes towards the cave dwellers. This film investigates a true South African dilemma - the conflict around religion and land. We hear impassioned arguments from both sides.

Produced by SABC Special Assignment

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