Op­po­si­tion to land claim suc­cess­fully served, says Afribusi­ness

The New Age (Gauteng) - - GAUTENG NEWS - TNA RE­PORTER news@the­newage.co.za

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.

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