Released - 12 February 2018
1. Status of the exercise to get a court hearing
A number of ‘snarl-ups’ (being polite here!) are getting in the way of progress:-
- The minutes of the first (13th October 2017) pre-trial conference, taken by the Court official, have still not been corrected. You may remember from the December newsflash that the minutes were wrong on two counts:-
- They incorrectly recorded the date, by which the Claimants must present their expert witness report, as 31 October 2018 instead of 31 January 2018; and
- They failed to record that Judge Meer had instructed that suitable trial dates should be agreed at the next pre-trial conference.
- The State Attorney, tasked with convening the next pre-trial conference for a date BEFORE 15 December 2017, has to date, failed to even attempt to arrange a meeting; and, most tellingly
- The Claimants have failed, as ordered by the Judge, to lodge before 31 January, their expert witness report.
Peet Grobbelaar has been in action. He has sent a second letter to the Land Claims Court requesting a correction to the minutes and has issued an official notice (‘summons’) advising the State Attorney and Claimants (copy to the Court) that they are not compliant with the orders of the Court (they are in ‘contempt’).
It has been suggested that the statement (regarding expropriation of land without compensation) by Cyril Ramaphosa, at the end of the ANC’s national conference in December, may have something to do with the lassitude of the State Attorney and of the Claimants. Hopefully Judge Meer (she can be fierce!) will not be swayed by Ramophosas political rhetoric and will descend, “like a ton-of-bricks”, and ensure that Court instructions are complied with.
Following a bumper November, when subscription income totalled R99 thousand, it was to be expected that the following months might be ‘lean’. Just how ‘lean’ was a surprise. Contributions from debtors, in December and January, totalled barely R40 thousand.
The best estimate shows that LCAG needs a further R220 thousand (minimum without allowing for any contingencies). Subscription debtors, at the end of January 2018, amount to a little over a million Rand so, in theory, LCAG has sufficient resources and it’s just a question of getting it from the bank accounts of the members in default and into the LCAG bank account.
In a strange way the delaying tactics, of the State Attorney and Claimants, are almost to be welcomed because, the reality is, LCAG actually can’t afford to go to court right now. This sad situation will continue until at least a further two hundred and twenty thousand Rand are collected. Who knows, in a couple of months, it might be LCAG that is indulging in delaying tactics!!
All members in arrears with their subscriptions are requested to please pay what they owe. Members in arrears are reminded that, when they voluntarily joined Land Claim Action Group, they committed to the LCAG constitution and to paying the subscriptions.
3. Expropriation of land without compensation
At the end of the ANC’s national conference in December Cyril Ramaphosa said, in essence, that the ANC had resolved to start the process towards a constitutional amendment of Section 25 (the property clause in the Constitution) to allow for land expropriation without compensation. It is very important to note that the statement came with the assurance that “checks and balances” would be applied to ensure the changes do not have a negative impact on food security, the agricultural sector or other related sectors of the economy.
Since December, in high profile venues such as Davos, the ANC have been at pains to stress the “checks and balances”. It is the opinion of the LCAG Committee and Legal Team that, if any legislation is introduced, it will have little impact upon our situation.
If you would like to know a little more about the matter, then the following three very readable and well balanced articles are worth your attention:-
The Daily Maverick (9 January)
Eyewitness News (10 January) carried an article by Steven Freedman, who is
professor of political studies at UJ (https://www.msn.com/en-za/news/featured/opinion-is-anc-bent-on-radical-policies-here%E2%80%99s-why-the-answer-is-no/ar-BBIbFs1?li=AAaxc0E&ocid=spartanntp).
The Daily Maverick (17 January) carried the following article, by Pierre de Vos, who teaches constitutional law at UCT.
4. Unidentifiable deposits held in suspense (Total, still, around R15 000.)
Despite the note in the December newsflash there continues to be a number of unidentified deposits being held in a suspense account. In total they amount to some R15000. This sum represents deposits that have been made, direct to the LCAG bank account, which are devoid of any information that allows them to be allocated to the correct membership account.
Please check your latest statement. If the balance owing by you is more than you expect then check that all the payments you have made to LCAG are reflected on the statement. If a payment, you believe you have made, is missing from your statement contact the treasurer, Pedro Carvalho, on 082 337 0203. No chancers please – naturally you will be asked to provide proof of any payments you lay claim to.
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.
26778 Land Claim Action Group.
Our bank account details
26778 Land Claim Committee;
Standard Bank; Van Der Walt Street PTA.
Clearing Code 010145;
Cheque account 410776882.
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.