Agri SA seeks R99bn damages for loss of mineral rights

Agri SA’s legal bid to claim damages that it says farmers have suffered as a result of mineral rights falling under the control of the state amounted to R99 billion, the Pretoria High Court has been told.

Advocate Cassie Badenhorst, representing mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu, told the court that the total value of the claims amounted to R99 billion and in fact one law firm had acted for 1 100 farmers with claims valued at R32 billion.

He said the R99 billion included R47 billion in unused claim rights.

Agri SA is seeking damages on behalf of its members from mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu as it claims the mineral rights its members owned were expropriated by the government when the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act became effective on May 1 2004.

According to the government the law makes the state the custodian of the country’s mineral wealth for the benefit of all South Africans.

Acting Judge Hans-Joachim Fabricius told Agri SA advocate Gerrit Grobler that when the trial resumes tomorrow he will like to hear how Agri SA claims the expropriation took place.

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