AfriBusiness intervenes again as large land claim continues
22 August 2017
AfriBusiness and its legal team had a pre-trial meeting at the Land Claims Court in Randburg over the Lekhuleni land claim, which was instituted in respect of properties in the eastern parts of Pretoria.
The pre-trial mainly focussed on resolving issues that will have to be dealt with during the trial, which will probably commence later this year. This means that only final affidavits will have to be filed as the matter is ready to be heard. AfriBusiness is requesting that the Land Claims Court’s decision – that the Lekhuleni claim is valid – be overturned, as the administrative discretion in this case lies solely with the Land Claims Commissioner.
“This claim seems to be opportunistic and resembles the Bakwena ba Mare a Phagole or South Gauteng land claim in which AfriBusiness is also actively involved. The organisation believes that the law should take its course where valid claims have been lodged; however, we cannot agree that the current claim is valid. The Land Claims Court’s involvement in the matter that pertains to the discretionary authority of the Land Claims Commissioner seems to be unfitting, and AfriBusiness will do everything in its power to ensure that the proper procedures are followed,” says Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst at AfriBusiness.
The claim encompasses over 500 residential properties, nine farms and various schools and businesses. It was allegedly instituted by the late Victor Lekhuleni, who claimed to be the leader of the Bakgatla Ba Lekhuleni tribe. He was succeeded by Velaphi Victor Lekhuleni.
The claim was allegedly submitted to the Land Claims Commission on 21 October 1996. After investigation, the commission made it clear on 16 January 2013 that no claim had been lodged and therefore it would not proceed to investigate the claim. However, this decision was reviewed and set aside by the Land Claims Court on 8 August 2014.
Greyling adds that, should the Court’s decision not be overturned, AfriBusiness will continue to attack the merits of the claim in terms of whether any person was forcefully removed from the property in question as a result of racially discriminatory laws.
Issued by Armand Greyling, Law and Policy Analyst, AfriBusiness, 22 August 2017