KZN Land Commission must pay out

2010-05-19 00:00

IN the second case of its kind in little over a week, the KwaZulu-Natal Land Claims Commission will have to pay over R100 000 in legal fees to settle legal costs incurred by land owners over the past six years in their battle against the commission.

The land owners, the Midlands North Research Group and Others, battled the Kusile Land Claims Committee and the regional land claims commissioner of KZN, alleging that the claims on their land were dubious.

They succeeded in an application for costs against the commission on the basis that a number of properties were wrongly gazetted and that claims had proceeded, despite valid objections by the landowners.

They contended that the claimants lived on portions of some of the farms and had no claim to entire farms, but only to the portions they actually occupied.

The land owners applied for certain properties to be de-gazetted and showed the claim is not a community claim, as the commission maintained, and that the claimants have never exercised any rights on some of the properties claimed.

The Land Claims Court ruled that the commission had not properly investigated the claims and had pushed through the dubious claims, making the commission responsible for the costs incurred by land owners.

A source close to the legal wrangle said the costs are still being tallied up. “I can tell you now that it’s going to be a couple of hundred of thousand rand at least.”

He described the ruling as a landmark. “Normally, the parties involved pay their own legal costs.”

Robin Barnsley of farmers’ union KwaNalu said the judgment is a clear indication that the commission should be more diligent when doing its work.

“There are thousands of claims in the province, and with the poor communication from the commission, we are likely to see many claims ending in a similar manner.”

Dr Theo de Jager, chairperson of Agri SA’s Transformation Policy Committee, called for legal aid for landowners defending their constitutional rights against dubious claims.

Last week it was reported that the Ingonyama Trust won a costs claim against the commission in similar circumstances.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.