Opposition to land claim successfully served, says Afribusiness
AFRIBUSINESS says it has received confirmation from its attorneys that their application to intervene and subsequently oppose the Bakwena Ba Mare a Phogole land claim has successfully been served.
Law and policy analyst at Afribusiness Armand Greyling said the claim affects large areas in southern Gauteng.
“The claimants are now attempting to set aside the period within which the public could make submissions to contest the claim. This period was extended with an additional 90 days from March 10 last year. If the claimants succeed, it would have the detrimental effect of invalidating any submissions made by affected parties during that period.”
Greyling said the period for comment was 60 days from November 4, 2016. However, AfriBusiness said this period was too short and pressured the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to allow for an extension.
AfriBusiness said the extension of the period for comments by regional land claims commissioner Harry Maphuta was a justifiable administrative action and cannot be set aside.
The extent of the land claim, as well as the number of interested parties affected thereby, means the extension was in the interest of justice.
There were also “conflicting reports” from the commission itself, as well as the media, as to when the first period for comments ended.
AfriBusiness views the claim as being without merit and has submitted a research report, contesting it.
“Even though the merits of the claim are not on the table for discussion before the commission yet, it is in the interest of justice that this report, as well as all public comments, be considered to assist the commission in making an informed decision about the validity of the claim,” Greyling said.
The meeting is on March 19 at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre.