Part of the confusion is a court battle between the District Six working committee and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform that has stalled after it emerged that the department had not responded to a court application filed in April.
The application was lodged in the Land Claims Court in Johannesburg. The department was initially supposed to respond to the court application in May but failed to do so.
“We always expected the government to oppose this. They were given until May 30 to file answering papers, but they did not. I have spoken to the state attorney and he understands the frustration and he indicated that the answering papers will be filed this Friday,” law firm Norton Rose Fulbright director Nicki Van’t Riet said.
The committee filed a court application against the department’s failure to provide restitution to District Six claimants since 1998. It was stated in court papers that the national government and the commission have a constitutional obligation to observe the Bill of Rights, which includes the right to restitution. The committee is representing 969 claimants, with 22 respondents listed. Of the claimants, 70 are elderly.