File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Agri SA, a federation of agricultural organisations, on Monday questioned the status and content of the list of farms leaked by said to be earmarked for expropriation without compensation, saying that the list has led to panic amongst landowners. 

Over the weekend, Afriforum published a list of 195 properties allegedly identified for expropriation without compensation on its website. 

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) recently announced that the party had drawn up a list of 139 farms to be expropriated without compensation by the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development.

Dan Kriek, president of Agri SA, said that they were in the process of establishing the legitimacy of the list of farms.

"It is irresponsible of AfriForum to publish such unconfirmed information, knowing it to be inflammatory. Fellow farmers have been exposed by the release of the list," Kriek said in a statement. 

Kriek said that a cursory background research showed that the list contained several inaccuracies which could easily have been verified before release. 

Upon investigation by Agri SA’s affiliates, it came to light that the list contained farms that were joint ventures that are co-owned by black people, and the list also contained incomplete information on title deed descriptions and with farm names appearing without stating the subdivisions of those farms, Kriek said.

Annelize Crosby, Agri SA head of land issues, said they wish to emphasise that expropriation can only happen for a legitimate purpose mandated by statute and that a lengthy process that complies with the requirements of just administrative action needs to be followed. 

"This means that expropriation cannot happen overnight and can only take place for reasons specified in a law of general application. There are various prescribed steps that must be followed in expropriation. This includes a notice of intention to expropriate, valuation of the property and negotiations with the owners," Crosby said. 

"As the Constitution has not been changed, the requirement for expropriation remains just and equitable compensation. Agri SA will protect the interest of farmers in the courts."

African News Agency (ANA)