Wits land Value and purpose at issue
suburbs objected and the sale was set aside by the high court in Johannesburg.
Another offer was accepted in 2000, but later cancelled. Wits then held discussions with property developers to establish what interest there was in developing Frankenwald.
Their view was that the value of the land had been eroded as a result of dumping over the years and the associated cost of removing the rubble.
Property development company iProp, however, suggested that the rubble be crushed, graded and sold.
In 2001 Wits concluded a land availability agreement with the firm and authorised it to, among other things, apply for permission to build a township.
The plans included the development of shops, commercial and office premises, while 10% of the land was set aside for educational purposes. There were to be 4 400 housing units, 3 000 of which would be subsidised and aimed at relieving the housing pressures in Alexandra.
Wits says it did not want to be directly involved in the business of property development. iProp was to carry out the project on its behalf and limit risk to the university. They would share the net proceeds, which were still to be determined. The agreement was for 10 years or until Frankenwald was developed or sold, whichever occurred first.
However, this plan also hit a snag. Owners of the neighbouring land, the Witwatersrand Estate and the Waterval Islamic Institute, led by Ibrahim Mia, objected and launched a high court application for a review in 2006.
The matter has yet to be heard in court, due to several delays that Wits says were