The site which was transformed into a food garden The land was claimed to be unused for its Islamic purposes for over 40 years. The site is declared as Waqf land which is an endowment made in Islam for the use of charitable purposes only. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The site which was transformed into a food garden The land was claimed to be unused for its Islamic purposes for over 40 years. The site is declared as Waqf land which is an endowment made in Islam for the use of charitable purposes only. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

‘Illegal occupation’ of Bo-Kaap endowment land to go to court

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Jan 19, 2021

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Cape Town - The controversy over endowment land and who it belongs to failed to be settled between the parties involved and will now be heard in the High Court on Friday.

The piece of land in Bo-Kaap has been developed into a food garden by the Sustainable Bo-Kaap Association (Suboka) which the community is locked out from due to the trustees of the land claiming it to be an unlawful occupation.

A petition has been started by Suboka members hoping to raise further awareness on the endowment land and why they have converted it into a food garden.

The piece of land has been declared as Waqf land, which is an endowment made in Islam for charitable purposes only.

Suboka founder Soraya Booley said: “Many people are outraged that the gates have been locked. The petition is an opportunity for them to register their outrage and further apply pressure for the gates to be opened.

“Hundreds of people have already signed our petition. We urge everyone who hasn’t done so yet, to please support our plight and to sign our petition and to share it widely.”

She said that they were hoping for common sense to prevail between the parties, “however the other parties remained unreasonable with us which required the application to court as a last resort”.

The Darul Falaah Study Group (DFSG), an Islamic organisation formed to purchase the land for the building of an Islamic educational institution on the site, said in a statement: “We are confident and content to leave the matter in the hands of our attorneys to find a legal resolution on the issue and we discourage all parties from engaging in this type of retributive action.

“The DFSG’s overreaching objective is to build and establish a locally owned Islamic educational institution which will become a benefit to the community.”

They said all other issues besides this objective were a detraction from the land’s objective.

Cape Argus

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