South Africa begins seizure of lands

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The South African government has begun the process of seizing land from owners in cases where the negotiation for compensation has stalled.

Two game farms in Limpopo province are being targeted after the government offered the owners one-tenth of their asking price.





The process has moved forward after negotiations with the white owners of the properties stalled, according to South Africa’s City Press newspaper.

Ramaphosa

Akkerland Boerdery, the company of Johan Steenkamp and Arnold Cloete who own the property, demanded 200 million rand ($13.7 million) for the land, but are being offered just 20 million rand ($1.37 million).

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Earlier this year, Akkerland Boerdery was sent notice that an inspection of the properties would be held in order to audit their value before being handed over to the state.

Steenkamp told Newsweek that the notice was delivered on very short notice during a long weekend of public holidays of South Africa in March, demanding that the keys to the farm be handed over within seven days, forcing them to seek legal representation and file an urgent application to the courts.

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The owners obtained an injunction to hold off eviction until a court had ruled on the case. But the application has been opposed by the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs.

Mashile Mokono, head of the department, said that the government is committed to speeding up land reform policies, City Press reported.

Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has signed another two final orders to expedite the seizure, Mokono explained.

Mokono added that this was not a case of expropriation without compensation, but the courts will have to decide on what is “just and equitable” compensation.

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