News24

North West land ruling slammed

2010-02-24 19:02

Cape Town - The Azanian People's Organisation has slammed a ruling by the Land Claims Court against claims made by the Bahiring community near Koster in the North West, saying it sets a "bad precedent".

Spokesperson David Lebethe said it was unfair to dismiss a claim on the basis that the land in dispute had already been developed and that the community would not be able to use it productively.

"The judgment is not only unpopular, but defies the very essence on which such claims are made," Lebethe said.

It was wrong of the court to have based its judgment on submissions made by an official "whose agricultural projects are non-functional and of no benefit to affected communities in the North West".

"While there may be myriad reasons for such projects not to be effective, it remains government policy and therefore the law, to restore the land of people affected by unjust laws and practices of the former white government."

Lebethe charged that the judge dismissed the claim solely on monetary considerations, when it had always been the government's undertaking to compensate affected communities in order to redress past injustices.

"In the light of the above, it is our humble submission that the judgment is unconstitutional and therefore appealable."

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