S. African Mount Up for Auction, Villagers Irate

Oprah, Bill Gates said to be among potential bidders for high life
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 6:14 AM CDT
Development on the mountain will be limited to one large house and some laborers' cottages, according to the auctioneer.   (©girolame)
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(Newser) – Villagers at the foot of a South African mountain are incensed over plans to sell the land above them at a private auction, the Independent reports. The thousands of impoverished villagers live in cramped conditions and say the property, near Cape Town, should belong to the public. Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey are believed to be among the potential bidders.

"We are told we cannot move further up the mountain but we see rich foreigners being given unbridled freedom to build luxury houses and lodges higher and higher up the mountains," said a community leader. The auctioneer, who calls the sale "a unique opportunity for a buyer to name a mountain after themselves," believes the best solution might be for a "white knight" to buy the property and turn it over to the community.
(Read more South Africa stories.)