Tycoons in MalaMala bush war

2013-06-23 11:40
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Johannesburg - Top wildlife tycoons Michael Rattray and Dave Varty are embroiled in a dispute that could influence the future of land reform policy.

According to the Sunday Times, the Mhlanganisweni community are claiming the land on which Rattray’s luxury MalaMala reserve has been developed. Varty, who owns neighbouring Londolozi, has meanwhile agreed to run MalaMala on behalf of the claimants if they win. Dave Evans, a MalaMala director, said they were surprised when Varty struck a deal with the Mhlanganisweni as “Londolozi never advised us that they were considering coming in on behalf of the claimants”.

Rattray agreed to sell the land but earlier this year the Land Claims Court said the claim was not feasible – largely because of disagreement over the price. Rattray wants nearly R800 million. The Mhlanganisweni want the state to expropriate the land for R460 million, to offset the “historical” benefits Rattray derived from apartheid.

The matter is now before the Constitutional Court.

Read more on:    land reform
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