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Cape family gets back land taken from their father 43 years ago during apartheid

The Marinus family has finally had a piece of land in Grassy Park returned to them after it was taken from their father 43 years ago. Picture: Supplied

The Marinus family has finally had a piece of land in Grassy Park returned to them after it was taken from their father 43 years ago. Picture: Supplied

Published May 20, 2021

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Cape Town - The Marinus family has finally had a piece of land in Grassy Park that was taken from their father 43 years ago restored to them.

The land-return was celebrated on Wednesday with Mayor Dan Plato, the Marinus siblings comprising of Ms Geraldine Marinus, Mr Frank Marinus, Ms Merle Harris (nee Marinus) and Ms Annaline Garcia (nee Marinus).

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The 2 000 m2 piece of land in Grassy Park was taken by the then Group Development Board for the establishment of a ‘border strip’ that would have the purpose of separating the ‘Coloured Group Area’ from the ‘White Group Area’.

Fortunately at the time of the dispossession, the Marinus siblings were staying with their grandfather, Mr Frank Marinus (Sr.) on a small holding in Victoria Street, Grassy Park. Marinus Avenue is named after the family.

Land Restitution Claim Grassy Park. Marinus family, 8th Avenue. Picture: Supplied

The land eventually ended up as public land, owned by the City.

Mayor Dan Plato said: “In 1978 this piece of land was taken from the late father of the beneficiaries, Mr Frank Marinus (Jr.) and he was given R13 465 for the land with outbuildings. The Land Claims Commission rightly found this amount not to be just and equitable.

“The dispossession of the land was done in accordance with the racially-based Group Areas Act, which was developed and used by the apartheid government to cause division and create spatial divides, robbing people of colour of their property and tenure rights, tearing communities and families apart, and forcibly settling them in new areas.

“It is with utmost joy and pride that we join the beneficiaries today to see them return to their land after many decades of waiting for this day.”

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One of the beneficiaries of the land, Geraldine Marinus said: “Thanks to God for making this all possible and for granting us, as siblings, the opportunity to witness this day.

“We are very happy that we are still healthy and can, after 43 years, get this piece of land back. We do not yet have plans for the land.

“Our late father Frank Marinus (Jr.) always said, ‘Don’t count your chicks before they hatch’,” she said.

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The Marinus family have finally had a piece of land in Grassy Park that was taken from their father 43 years ago restored to them. Mayco Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi, was also in attendance. Picture: Supplied

Mayco Member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi, who was also in attendance, explained that the Marinus claim was lodged in 1995 ahead of the restitution claims cut-off date of December 31, 1998.

“In terms of restitution, the City’s role is to give back land if a formal claim has been submitted pertaining to land currently owned by the City.

“The National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Land Claims Commission is the lead authority in restitution matters and handles the claim process and manages the duration of the claim,” he said.

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“As always, the City has helped as much as it can to expedite the process and we continue to call on national government to ensure that beneficiaries do not wait for decades to see justice and redress.

“Thank you to all who have made this great day possible, and we wish the family all the very best for the future,” said Booi.

Cape Argus

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