Uncertainty hovers over District Six leadership who have a planned meeting with the new Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Thoko Didiza. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Uncertainty hovers over District Six leadership who have a planned meeting with the new Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Thoko Didiza. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

‘Bad blood’ stalks District Six meeting with land reform minister

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Aug 12, 2019

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Cape Town - The rivalry between interest groups in the District Six land claims issue could bedevil a planned meeting on Tuesday with new Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Thoko Didiza.

Tania Kleinhans-Cedras, chairperson of the District Six advocacy group, said: “This is just a dialogue and there is a lot of bad blood between all the groups but we are excited to meet with the minister and establish common ground on this.”

Kleinhans-Cedras, however, wants Didiza to specify who qualifies as a stakeholder in District Six.

“We want the minister to establish the legitimacy of a stakeholder in District Six. Which group represents claimants,” she said.

This will be the second time Didiza will be meeting the leadership groups of District Six. Their first engagement took place in July, when the claimants from the District Six Working Committee were locked in a class action lawsuit against the government over its failure to deliver restitution 25 years into democracy.

A judgment earlier this month ruled that the department had failed to comply with a court order to draft a plan to redevelop District Six.

The court also ruled that the department, currently headed by Didiza, was found to have failed to comply with the order.

Chairperson of the District Six Working Committee Shahied Ajam said: “The agenda will include finalising the conceptual plan and programme.

“This meeting conforms to the ruling of November last year where the previous minister was ordered to submit progress reports to the court every three months until the redevelopment in District Six is completed.

“Representatives of working committees will attend this meeting.

“The next court hearing is scheduled for end August this year,” he said.

The District Six Working Committee was seeking two forms of relief: declaratory relief, to provide restitution to the claimants who lodged valid claims by December 31, 1998 and mandatory relief, as well as for the department and commission to provide details of funding and budget, and progress reports.

District Six beneficiary trust chairperson Dr Anwar Nagiah said the issue of District Six had dragged on for too long.

“Our egos must be shoved aside. Our only concern should be that of restorative justice. This bickering must end,” he said.

@MarvinCharles17

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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