Centurion land claim: Authorities belie community

Authorities, busy concluding the massive land claim in various extensions of Centurion, refuse to make further and full information regarding this claim available to AfriForum, despite the formal application requesting last mentioned.

AfriForum will now take further steps after which the court will be approached to compel the authorities to supply AfriForum with this information.

AfriForum needs all the information pertaining to the land claim in order to make complete submissions together with expert investigation reports to the authorities to properly oppose the land claim.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform alleges to the community that the period for submissions against the land claim has expired. This statement is false and the department must allow the involved community the opportunity to get their reports in order for proper submissions that would be considered by the department. After AfriForum became involved with the claims process to protect communities’ interests, the department alleged that the affected communities need not be concerned that their properties would not be taken away.

This follows after a land claim was published in the Government Gazette in June 2018 which affects about 4 000 ha. Immovable property and close to 2 000 families.

“Mandates from affected community members who requested that AfriForum helped them oppose the claim is still streaming in. AfriForum has already appointed leading experts to convey the claimants’ version. With this, AfriForum confirms its point of view that unfounded and ill-considered claims must not simply be accepted without any opposition,” says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Legal and Risk Manager.

“Section 34 of the Restitution of Land Rights Act explicitly determines that authorities in whose area the affected property falls can approach the court to have the expropriation of the said property excluded. After that only financial compensation and the transfer of the claimants’ claim to alternative land can be considered. If the authorities are determined that the Centurion community’s immovable property would not be expropriated, why has this application not been submitted to the court?” concludes Kamfer.

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