South Africa's Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs Thoko Didiza. Picture: Herbert Matimba
South Africa's Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs Thoko Didiza. Picture: Herbert Matimba

Hundreds of land reform cases before courts countrywide

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Mar 27, 2021

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Cape Town - The Land Claims Commission is battling it out with land claimants in more than 300 land reform cases before various courts across the country.

This emerged from the document Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza made public when replying to parliamentary questions.

The report shows that Tayop Abdul Carrim is demanding the land owned by the City of Tshwane, which the City alleges is not restorable.

“The original claimed land is not restorable and only alternative land is available,” the report said.

The commission in Gauteng said Carrim has since passed on and his son has taken over the matter.

“He has indicated that he is willing to accept any offer and the office has offered him Erven 2510, 2510(RE) and 493 of Asiatic Bazaar and he is yet to respond.

“This is a possible out of court settlement,” the commission said in the report.

The land claim by Carrim is among the 345 land claims-related cases that are before courts nationwide.

In her response to DA MP Annette Steyn, Didiza said a total of 64 422 land claims have been finalised to date.

The Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng lead the pack with 17 663, 17 070 and 11 323 finalised cases respectively.

KwaZulu-Natal has the lowest number of settled claims, totalling 1 243.

Didiza’s response came as the land reform programme came under scrutiny during the public hearings conducted by the Ad Hoc Committee on Section 25, which amends the constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation.

However, a cursory look at the court cases shows that it will take some time for the outstanding claims to be resolved.

Some cases date back as far back as 1998, the cut-off date for the submission of claims.

One of the claims involves an applicant seeking to be paid about R4,5 million for his land claimed by the Dale Street Congregation Church of Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape.

“The commission has a valuation of R150 000.00 the current owner has not done a valuation report, they are basing their amount on the potential of the land, which has not been valued.”

In Gauteng, in a matter involving claimant Osman Carrim and the commission, the claimant refused the restitution award while in another linked to Sauliman Jalalpor, the land owners dispute validity of the claim.

The report also said the Narashwama Family does not want an alternative place or property awarded by the commission as the claimed property was not restorable.

In one claim by the Mchunu clan in KwaZulu-Natal, there is a dispute over the allocation of sites in respect of restored properties.

There is now an application to interdict claimants from allocating sites to non-beneficiaries.

The report also said Petrus Carel Geffert Pretorius was demanding payment of interest on the full purchase price.

Pretorius, the report said, signed the sale agreement and was paid 90% of the purchase price, but the commission was interdicted from transferring the property to the community which was supposed to benefit from the project.

The report said there is a matter involving Rebecca Myeza from Hammersdale in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The family nominated one beneficiary to receive the award, and on receipt, she refused to distribute to the remaining beneficiaries.

“Other beneficiaries approached the court to compel the RLCC (regional land claims commission) to pay financial compensation.”

In Limpopo, the commission has issued summons against a conveyancer to refund the first 50% of the purchase price.

In Northern Cape, state-owned entity Alexkor wants R164 million compensation for properties transferred to the Richtersveld community in settlement of their restitution claim.

Political Bureau

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