Newsflash

Released - 13 October 2017

Dear members

1. Status of the exercise to get a court hearing

All the efforts by Peet Grobbelaar (our attorney) to get a date for a pre-trial conference have, at last, borne fruit!  A telephonic pre-trial conference was convened (by the court) for 10 October 2017. This was considered exciting for two reasons:-

Firstly that the registrar (almost certainly in consultation with Judge Jasmin Meer) actually set a date; AND

Secondly that the date was set so soon (less than 4 weeks) after Peet’s appeal of 13 September.

Then, very late in the day (16h41 to be exact) on the 9th an email was received from the court registrar indicating that one of the parties (no prizes for guessing which party!) was suddenly unavailable. Judge Meer immediately intervened and proposed that the conference be moved to Thursday, 12th October at 12h30. This time there were no excuses.

During the conference it was quite apparent that the Judge was in no mood for playing games. She stated very clearly that there has been enough time wasted and directed that:-

  • The Land Claims Commissioner should convene a face-to-face pre-trial conference of all parties before 15th December and that, during this conference, a date for the actual trial should be set; and
  • The claimants must, not later than 31st January 2018, file their expert witness reports.

All in all, a good day at the office!! The committee are much heartened.

It is possible that Judge Meer’s attitude was not improved by the fact that the claimants were due to file their expert witness report by 30 May 2014. Although they subsequently asked for a further month beyond that date, their expert witness report has now been outstanding for three and a half years!

2. Annual general Meeting

The thirteenth annual general meeting of the Land Claim Action Group will be held on Tuesday, 7 November 2017. The venue is Amanzingwe Bush Lodge and the time is 18h00 for 18h30.  Please advise any matters that you would like discussed and also forward your nominations for committee members. (Nomination forms are available on the website.)

3. Process (in Parliament) to reopen the window for the lodging of land claims. 

You will recall that Jacob Zuma (in a vote catching exercise for the 2014 general election) rushed the “Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act” through into legislation in 2014. Amongst other things the act reopened the window for the lodging of land claims.

Subsequently various parties (civil rights organizations and claimants who had been waiting for many years for their cases to be heard) challenged the legality of the act. On 28 July 2016 the Constitutional Court declared the “Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act” invalid in an opaque (think muddled and unclear!) judgement. The Constitutional Court judgement:-

  • Gave Parliament 24 months to re-enact the law; and
  • Ruled that no land claims lodged after July 2014 should be processed until this was done, or claims submitted before 1998 are finalized (muddled and unclear!!).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, on Thursday 5th October Parliament started on the long process to reintroduce legislation to re-open the window period for the lodging of land claims.

A significant motivation, to push to get a resolution to our land claim, was a desire to sort it out before Parliament gets a chance to introduce any new legislation. Hopefully we shall beat that deadline.
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The above matters are updates to the recent previous newsflashes and, for clarity, should be read in conjunction with them.
As a formality I should like to record that the opinions stated above are my own and are made without prejudice to any legal or any other position that may exist insofar as the Broederstroom Land Claim is concerned.

Groete. See you all at the AGM on 7 November.

Leon Scholtz

 

Chairman,                                                                             

Brian Reilly

26778 Land Claim Action Group.                                         

Committee member,

October, 2017

26778 Land Claim Action Group.

Our bank account details
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Please fax deposit slip to 086 656 3016.  Please use your membership number as a reference.

The opinions expressed in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the Committee or of the appointed legal team.

 

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