Commissioner denies land reform invite

2012-10-23 12:24
Deputy land claims commissioner Thami Mdontswa (Who's Who SA)

Deputy land claims commissioner Thami Mdontswa (Who's Who SA)

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Johannesburg - Deputy land claims commissioner Thami Mdontswa has denied that he was invited to a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the reopening of the land claims process.

"Neither the department of rural development and land reform nor... Mdontswa were invited to attend or address a meeting of the NLCF [National Land Claims Forum]," the department said in a statement.

"The deputy... commissioner held a meeting with the NLCF on 8 August 2012 and has exchanged correspondence with the forum subsequent to that meeting. None of that correspondence was an invitation to the meeting [on Tuesday]."

NLCF president Mosupye Tshwene said on Sunday that Mdontswa would attend the meeting.

"The NLCF has called a stakeholder meeting and invited the department of rural development to discuss the reopening of the land claims act, allowing claimants who did not make the December 1998 deadline to lodge their claims," Tshwene said at the time.

He said the aim of the meeting was to follow up on discussions with Minister Gugile Nkwinti's office relating to affidavits which were delivered to the department over a year ago.

"[We] will seek to secure concrete answers on the way forward on this critical matter which continues to keep the development and emancipation of black South Africans on hold," said Tshwene.

The department said reopening of land claims, which was mentioned by Tshwene, was currently being considered by an inter-ministerial committee appointed by Cabinet.

"Once the... committee has finalised its task, it shall report to Cabinet, which shall take a decision on the matter," the department said.

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