Released - 23 May 2017
1. Approach from potential land purchaser
A few of our members have recently been approached by a Mr Richard Sibolas (or Sibolai), who purports to represent the Land Claim Commissioner. Mr Sibolas expresses an interest in purchasing land, on the open market in the area – presumably for redistribution to the land claimants.
It is quite possible that Mr Sibolas may approach more members and we remind you that LCAG was not formed to get involved in normal “buy/sell” land transactions. The LCAG has never opposed the purchase and sale of land through the long established mechanisms and, in fact, fully supports the “willing buyer/willing seller” principle. However, when dealing in land transactions with the government, it is worth bearing in mind some of the documented experiences from the past. These experiences include:-
The message is that, if you choose to deal in land with the government (and it is your absolute right to do so), then you should be extremely cautious.
(This is not the first time such approaches have been made. The matter was dealt with at length in the newsletter of August 2014, which is available on the web site.)
We are also aware that there are one or two ‘business promoters/entrepreneurs’ working in the area. Typically such individuals keep an eye open for what they refer to as ‘opportunities’ or ‘deals’ (examples are crocodile farms and equestrian estates – but it could be just about anything!) and then attempt to put together a ‘transaction’ involving (for example):-
2. Status of the exercise to get a court hearing
Our attorney (Peet Grobbelaar) has now fully updated himself on the particulars of our case and has communicated with the various other participating parties (the claimants, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform and the other defendants – such as Transnet, Telkom, South African Nuclear Energy Corporation etc). The letter to the other parties is very specific, quite ‘strong’, and clearly shows that the tardiness of the claimant is to blame for the lack of progress. It details the events that have transpired over the years and the current status of the action. It also requests the other parties to make themselves available for a telephonic pre-trial conference at a mutually convenient date sometime between 22 May and 12 June 2017.
How many further pre-trial conferences are required, before the matter eventually gets to court, depends to a great extent upon the level-of-desire (of the claimant) to see the matter settled. One of the matters that has delayed progress is the claimants expert witness report. The following facts indicate the scale of the problem that the claimant has with this report:-
And that is the last we have heard. Quite obviously the claimants are having some real problems in getting anybody independent to substantiate their claim.
3. Invoices and statements for the new subscription of R3 600
It had been intended that invoices and statements for the new subscription of R3600 would be sent out at the beginning of April. Unfortunately our systems and internal processes failed us briefly. The result is that accounts for the new subscription are only now being dispatched. Please accept our apologies.
(In the March 2017 newsflash the reasons for the recent change of strategy were listed. The fourth reason listed was:- “our internal systems and processes, the committee, the legal team and the expert witnesses are not getting any younger and we are concerned about their continuing availability”!)
As a concession, to those members with financial constraints, the committee has decided to permit the new subscription amount of R3600 to be paid in minimum amounts of R450 per month, over eight months ending 30 November 2017. For those members without financial constraints, please pay the full amount upon receipt of the invoice.
The above matters are updates to the recent previous newsflashes and, for clarity, should be read in conjunction with them.
Leon Scholtz Brian Reilly
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The opinions expressed in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the Committee or of the appointed legal team.
"The power of the collective is far greater than the power of one"