PARTY

Fred Daniel to sue Mpumalanga govt for R740m

Game farmer also seeks interdict against mafia like activities

To all Associates, friends and interested and affected parties.

As you are aware, Fred Daniel has been involved in the development of projects in the Badplaas area for 12 years.

His attempts to do normal sustainable economic development in Mpumalanga and in the area, have been frustrated and affected by endemic corruption,  inertia and political interference by various national, provincial and parastatal structures, in the socio-economic, conservation and communal activities in the area.

At the end of 2008 he notified these national, provincial and parastatal structures that he intended to sue for damages as a result of these actions in the amount of R676 million.

The national and provincial structures asked the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency to intercede and in May 2009 Fred Daniel signed an agreement with the provincial structures to put a "development agreement" together by mid November 2009. The agreement would have had considerable benefits for the Badplaas area as a whole as well as conservation and sustainable development.

In exchange for this agreement, he agreed to hold back the summons for damages, pending a satisfactory outcome. He also reserved the right to reinstitute the summons for damages, should a  satisfactory agreement not be put in place.

This "development agreement" was not forthcoming and the arrangements between the parties became null and void.

Subsequent to the signing of the "development agreement" and after the lapse thereof, harassment, and interference in the affairs of Fred Daniels' personal and business affairs have continued unabated.

He has therefore instituted legal proceedings against the various structures and individuals, by seeking an interdict against them.

Herewith the two PRESS RELEASES, setting out the matter (see below).

The SUMMONS for damages as well as the INTERDICT, which consist of more than 7 full lever arch files of information, will in due course be served on the respondents, by the sheriff..

Regards

John Allen

Consultant

The Summons:

During this week, attorneys representing Grand Valley Estates (Pty) Ltd, Edge to Edge 17 (Pty) Ltd, Montview Properties (Pty) Ltd, Motif Properties CC, Wilderness Conservation Projects (Pty) Ltd, Mountain View Investments (Pty) Ltd, Mr Simon Huba and Mr Frederick Coenraad Daniel, will file papers in respect of a summons, in the High Court of South Africa and start a process of serving these papers by the sheriff on:

The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, The Regional Land Claims Commissioner, Mpumalanga, The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, Mpumalanga, The Office of the MEC: Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, Mpumalanga, The Department of Land Affairs, Nelspruit, The Municipal Manager, Albert Luthuli Municipality, Carolina, The Director General, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria, and The National Commissioner of the South African Police Services, Pretoria.

The papers consist of a summons against the province and various individuals and officials.

The summons demands compensation in terms of five claims to the amount of R740,280,740 broken down as follows:

Claim 1:

From one or more or all of the defendants jointly and severally, in the amount of R738 million.

The summons in the High Court of South Africa states that ‘From 1999 until 2008 you and your employees acted unlawfully, corruptly and in a collusive fashion, in concert with each other, and as part of a conspiracy or intentionally, and in a mala fide fashion, to prejudice our clients and to cause our clients damages by infringing their constitutional rights and by breaching the statutory provisions setting out your legal duties and obligations'.

In addition, the summons states that the recipients of the summons ‘interfered in business negotiations since 2000 between our client's potential investors, with a view to prevent investors from investing in Nkomazi Wilderness, by making use of an attack on the integrity of Mr Daniel, the project and its BEE partners to such an extent that investors broke off further negotiations with the MTPA, amongst others, resulting in a loss of substantial international funds and investors for the Great Nkomati River Valley, the Trans Frontier Park and World Heritage Site initiatives, the Songimvelo Game Reserve'.

The summons lists numerous examples of malfeasance by the recipients. In particular, it notes that ‘By publishing malicious, untruthful and defamatory stories, rumours and facts pertaining to our clients with the aim to prejudice and detrimentally affect our clients, Nkomazi Wilderness, and the projects undertaken by our clients, to enhance the environment and promote conservation at Nkomazi Wilderness, resulting in a breach of the legal duties and obligations' laid out in the relevant sections of the Constitution and the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (2003). The summons also asserts that the recipients ‘plot[ed] the removal of our clients and its BEE partners from the Badplaas area by inciting and co-ordinating violence against our clients and its BEE partners and intimidation and vandalism against the properties of our clients and targeting our clients' investors, to discourage them from investing in the Badplaas area'. In addition, the Greater Badplaas Land Claims Committee has ‘continue[d], unchecked with criminally motivated acts of violence, vandalism, intimidation, human rights abuses, racism, blocking of investments, interfering in legitimate business interests, exploitation of land reform beneficiaries and conservation initiatives aimed at extorting and manipulating benefits and or bribes and forcing landowners to admit to land claims irrespective of its merits.' 

In 2008, Nkomazi Wilderness was sold for R245 million. The business included eco-tourism based game farming; hunting, property investment and hospitality. The damages are calculated looking at the development of the Nkomazi Wilderness and Cradle of Life projects would have attained in 2008 had officials acted lawfully and within their mandate and administrative duties to issue the relevant permits, with reference to inter alia the land values of the properties making up Nkomazi Wilderness and all other planned business interests and developments, as if it were a Big Five destination, the loss of revenue and direct investment and opportunities.'   

The summons lists The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, The Regional Land Claims Commissioner, Mpumalanga Province, The South African Police Services, The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, Mpumalanga Province, The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, National Government, Superintendent P L Kritzinger, Mr J F Coetzer, Mr J Muller, Mr A Sibiya, Mr J de Beer, Mr E Rohm, Mr D Pienaar, Dr. D Tiba, Mr. S Mosidi, Mr. A Coetzee, Mr. C Ngobeni, Ms. M.S Sithole, Mr. L Coetzer, Mr. N Nqana, Mr. H Maboa, Mr. L Mbatha, Mr Sbusiso Radebe and Mr. Bongani Mwale as ‘having acted in conjunction and in concert with each other'.

Claim 2: By second plaintiff in an amount of R550,000 for the loss of wild animals that died during the unlawful actions of the first, tenth, eleventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, twenty eighth and twenty ninth defendants.

Claim 3: By second plaintiff in an amount of R80,000 for the assault and damages to the boundary fences during the unlawful actions of the fourth, eighth, twenty sixth and the twenty seventh defendants.

Claim 4: By seventh plaintiff in an amount of R720,000 for the destruction of parts of the boundary fences during the unlawful actions of the fourth, eighth, twenty sixth and the twenty seventh defendants.

Claim 5: By seventh plaintiff in an amount of R980,740 for the costs incurred to protect its property during the unlawful actions of the fourth, eighth, twenty sixth and the twenty seventh defendants.

The plaintiffs have also issued papers seeking an interdict against some of the defendants, from continuing with all unlawful actions.

The Interdict - Case Number 19108/2010:

This week Grand Valley Estates (Pty) Ltd, Edge to Edge 17 (Pty) Ltd, Wilderness Conservation Projects (Pty) Ltd, Mountain view Investments (Pty) Ltd, Mr Simon Huba and Mr Frederick Coenraad Daniel filed papers in the High Court of South Africa that are being served on twenty-two respondents:

Mr DD Mabuza, The Premier of Mpumalanga, The Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Administration, Mpumalanga, A Member of the Executive Council, Department of Agricultural and Rural Development and Land Administration, Mpumalanga, The Head of the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Mpumalanga, A Member of the Executive Council, Department of Community, Safety, Security and Liaison, Mpumalanga, The Head of the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mpumalanga, A Member of the Executive Council, The Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mpumalanga, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, The Land Claims Commissioner, Mpumalanga, The Badplaas Land Claims Committee, Mr Pro Khoza, Minah Matsebula, MJ Nkosi, Bongani Mwali, Fannie Malaza, The Minister of Labour, National Government, The Minister of Environmental Affairs, National Government, The Minister of Police, National Government, The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, National Government, The Minister of Tourism, National Government, The Minister of Water Affairs, National Government.

The Interdict requests that DD Mabuza ‘be ordered to authorise and implement a commission of enquiry in terms of section 127 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, in respect of all the actions of first, second, third fifth to eighth, tenth and twelfth to seventeenth respondents'. DD Mabuza, the first respondent, ‘is prohibited to in any way whatsoever, be involved with or being part of the Badplaas Land Claims Committee (twelfth respondent herein), while holding public office, including the office of Premier'.

The Interdict asserts that ‘Respondents, their employees and officials, are prohibited from entering any property or premises belonging to and/or controlled by any of the applicants, in particular Travelport, except in instances where they are authorised and entitled to do so lawfully, which access will, in such instances occur with 24 hours forward notice in writing to second applicant and second applicant's attorney, Mr Chris Steyn. The respondents, their employees and officials are prohibited to act in any way whatsoever in a vexatious, intimidatory or harassing fashion, or with malice in any manner or form towards applicants'.

The document continues: ‘Respondents, their employees and officials, are ordered to refrain from causing or threatening harm, injury and damages to applicants in any form or manner, including in respect of second and sixth applicants, personal harm and injury of a bodily nature'. Respondents are also ‘ordered to refrain from making any further malicious, injurious or false statements in respect of the applicants in any document, in any other written or electronic medium, or in the press'. In particular, ‘Respondents, their employees and officials, are prohibited from conspiring with each other in any form or manner whatsoever, with a view to threaten, injure, harm or damage any of the applicants in any manner or form, or in any way whatsoever'. 

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, the tenth respondent, are prohibited from ‘act[ing] contrary to the promotion of conservation and ecologically sustainable development'.

The applicants have been forced to approach the courts because of the alleged Mafia - type activity taking place in the province over the last 5 years in which several politicians / whistleblowers / business rivals have been assassinated whilst others have been poisoned or received death threats or have either been intimidated, harassed, extorted or bribed in what reads like a horror movie, in a once peaceful province.

The interdict also seeks to stop officials, once and far all, who have embarked on a comprehensive campaign to discredit and defame Fred Daniel and his projects, despite the fact that these conservation initiatives are much admired internationally and this type of development is desperately needed to empower local communities in an area suffering from one of the highest unemployment rates in South Africa.

Statements issued by John Allen on behalf of Fred Daniel, April 9 2010

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