No justification for land grabs - Mapisa-Nqakula

2015-04-14 15:39
Hundreds of people descend on land in Ballito, led by the EFF's Lindani Mthembu. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Hundreds of people descend on land in Ballito, led by the EFF's Lindani Mthembu. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

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We have the right to occupy the unoccupied land - EFF

2015-04-13 12:58

About 100 people have gathered to lay claim to a plot of land in Durban. EFF’s Lindani Mthembu told News24 in Ballito, “We are not grabbing any land but we are occupying the unused land.” WATCH. WATCH

Cape Town - The illegal occupation of government and private-owned land will not be allowed to continue, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters in Cape Town and Pretoria via video-link, the minister said there was "absolutely" no justification for any illegal land invasions, after some were witnessed in recent days.

"In February 2014 the National Assembly passed the restitution of land rights amendment bill, which reopened the land restitution process," she said.

"The new deadline, which applies to any person dispossessed of their property after 19 June 1913, paves the way for all qualifying South Africans who missed the initial 31 December 1998 deadline to lodge land claims."

Ballito land grab

On Sunday, a group of Economic Freedom Fighters members staged a land grab on prime real estate in Ballito, north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.

The seaside town is home to some of the most opulent developments in KwaZulu-Natal.

A well-placed police source with knowledge of the incident, who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the press, confirmed that two groups of EFF members had attempted to stake their claim on a tract of farm land on the outskirts of the town.

“We had an incident with two groups of EFF members who tried to occupy a piece of the land which flanks the N2 near the entrance to Ballito. Police officers were called to the scene,” he said at the time.

Mapisa-Nqakula said government remained committed to land reform in accordance within the rule of law.

Land reform policy

"The expropriation of land without compensation is not government policy. We will continue to be guided by our progressive Constitution that recognises and sets out measures to address deep-rooted inequalities of our past," the minister said.

"Government will continue to pursue the 'just and equitable' principle for compensation, as set out in the Constitution instead of 'willing buyer, willing seller' principle, which forces the state to pay more for land than the actual value."

No person had a right to allow, encourage, motivate, organise, and or instigate land occupations of whatever form.

"Communities are urged to work with government and report people who are instigating the illegal invasion of government or private-owned land," she said.

"We do not condone illegal invasion of land, whatsoever. We urge South Africans to make use of laws and processes that prescribe how land issues should be handled. The JCPS (Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster) will not stand by and watch while these acts of illegal land invasions continue in our country."

She said government would not hesitate to make sure those who broke the law were held responsible.

Read more on:    eff  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  durban  |  land
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