Newsflash

Released - 07 March 2019

Dear members

1.  Special General Meeting, Wednesday 10 April 2019.
Once again the Committee believe it is necessary to have a mid-year special general meeting. Matters to be discussed include the:-
1.1 Status of the claim and the slow progress with the exercise to force a court hearing;
1.2 Disappointing results coming out of the ‘phone-around’ exercise of large subscription debtors;
1.3 Situation with regard to power of attorney (POA) documents and, most importantly;
1.4 Necessity for raising a further subscription amount and the quantum of that further subscription.

If you cannot attend, PLEASE appoint a proxy. Proxy forms are available on the website (www.breoderstroomlandclaim.co.za) under the menu item “DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTS”.  The venue is Amanzingwe Bush Lodge and the time is 18h00 for 18h30. A formal notice of meeting, detailing the agenda, will be issued shortly.

It is vital that Committee have your support for the defence of the land claim, particularly as it is probable that we are on the threshold of the real court action, so:-
This meeting is very important. Please make every effort to attend.

2. Status of the exercise to get a court hearing.
At the last pre-trial conference, in October 2017, Judge Meer directed that the State Attorney should convene a further pre-trial conference before 15th December 2017.  You will recall that, as a result of the failure by the State Attorney to convene this conference, LCAG have taken legal action against him and he was given until 18 February 2019 to submit an answering affidavit. This he failed to do and the matter is now scheduled to be in court, on 25th March where, it is anticipated, a cost order will be made against him. It is to be hoped that the State Attorney will then convene the pre-trial conference that the Judge ordered should be held over 16 months ago!

3. ‘Phone-around’ exercise of large subscription debtors.
After the AGM, on 27th November 2018, one member offered to form a sub-committee to phone LCAG’s largest subscription debtors. The objectives being to:-

  • Obtain outstanding Power of Attorney (POA) documents;
  • Bring-in outstanding monies OR to form an opinion upon the likelihood of outstanding monies being received by April 2019 (at that time believed to be a possible court date);
  • Confirm contact details (email address) and remind members that they must notify LCAG of changes to contact details (so that, in the event it is necessary during the actual court proceedings, contact can be very quickly established).

From the LCAG records, 66 of the largest subscription debtors (of the total 128 debtors) were selected for phoning.

In 22 cases the LCAG records were found to be incomplete or inaccurate (due to not having been updated by members?) and no contact could be made. Eventually one-on-one phone discussions were held with over 30 of the large subscription debtors. Of this total; nine have financial difficulties, five no longer wish to be members, and two disputed the outstanding amounts.

Arising from the exercise a significant number of member records were updated; some POA’s were received and subscription receipts in February amounted to R21500. This amount, though far from what had been wished for, is more than the previous three months combined – suggesting perhaps that the ‘phone-around had some positive effect.

It is impossible to avoid the overall impressions that:-

3.1 Many amongst our membership are extremely disillusioned, both with the land claim situation and with South Africa generally;
3.2 The value of subscription debtors (of R839k as per LCAG records at end February 2019) is seriously overstated and that a very large provision for bad debt needs to be created.

In addition to the committee, the ordinary members involved on the phone-around exercise were Elmarie Goosen, Jon Keats, John Franklin and Brian Reilly. Thank you.

4. Power of Attorney (POA)
Following-on from the ‘phone-around’ exercise, it was decided that a big push (a last?) should be made to get additional POA’s and, on three advertised occasions in January and February, ‘manned’ tables were set-up at Broederstroom Shopping Center and at Mountain Lake Shopping Center.

(Many thanks to Dormehl Phalane Property Group and Broederstroom Country Butchery for giving us access to their premises and for making this exercise possible.)

Although the exercise yielded only eleven further POA’s, bringing the total to 208, it must be noted that this is a dramatic improvement over the 146 advised at the November AGM.

Once again it is important to note that you cannot be represented by LCAG if your POA is not available or is out-of-date.  Provided LCAG has your POA, it WILL represent you, even if your subscription is in arrears.

The status of your POA is shown, top right, on your most recent account statement.

5. Finances and additional funding – including a ‘Crowdfunding’ initiative.
Legal costs are currently budgeted at R1 789 000 ( Peet Grobbelaar has been asked for an update on this figure). Balances in the bank account and money market account, at the end of February 2019, amount to R802k. This leaves a potential ‘gap’ of R987k to be filled by:-

  • Recoveries from outstanding debtors (Book value of R839k but, possibly, much of this must be considered doubtful and must be provided against – refer to point 3.2 above);
  • Any further loans from members; and
  • Further subscriptions yet to be raised.

It is in this context that the Committee has decided to explore the possibility of raising money using the ‘Crowdfunding’ model and, specifically, the ‘GoFundMe’ service. If anybody has experience of ‘Crowdfunding’ they are asked to please contact the treasurer, Pedro Carvalho, on 082 337 0203.

6. Expropriation and expropriation-without-Compensation
On 21 December the Department of Public Works published, for public comment, the latest draft of the expropriation bill and gave 60 days for the public to read and comment on it.

On 5 February 2019 Dr Anthea Jaffery published an article with the summary  “The ANC has brought the country to the point where the state will soon be able to assert its control over land and a host of other assets without any compensation being payable at all. However, few commentators seem aware of these risks, or of the scale of the threat to property rights.”

The full article, which makes compelling and frightening reading, can be found here https://subscriptions.touchbasepro.com/t/d-l-nkdiylt-wydddydhh-ji/

(Dr Anthea Jeffery is Head of Policy Research at the IRR, a think tank promoting political and economic freedom.)

For further reading we attach (after the bank account details) two articles in full. The first is by Max du Preez and the second, which extensively references Max du Preez, is by Carin Smith.

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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.

Leon Scholtz

 

Chairman,                                                                              

 

26778 Land Claim Action Group.                                             

Brian Reilly

March, 2019

Scribe

                                                                                                                             
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.

Max Du Preez; Writing in News 24 on 15 January 2019 (Note: this was BEFORE the Bosasa revelations commenced)
The fake bromance between Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma is like a third rate soap opera. The plot is not credible, the dialogue is weak and the actors are pathetic.

We know Ramaphosa can't stand Zuma and says nasty things about him behind his back. In public he very respectfully calls him Nxamalala, thanks him for his contribution in syrupy language and promises him jobs.

The Zuma lot's gossip about Ramaphosa is even more vicious and they are undermining and sabotaging him at every turn.

Most of us watching know that the subtext determines that Ramaphosa be comradely and warm to Zuma so he would remain in the ANC kraal and his followers would still vote ANC in May.

Once the ANC has scored a decisive electoral victory, the subtext continues, we will see the Real Cyril. He will change direction; he will clean up government; he will whip the economy into shape, even when the measures are unpalatable to his left wing; he will pull the sting out of the land issue; and he will bring an end to the reckless populism in the governing party.

Some of the soapie viewers say Cyril is spineless, others say he's a master tactician.
We will have to wait until after the election to find out who was right. Until then, prepare yourself for more sickeningly sweet love scenes between the two.

Perhaps Ramaphosa is bargaining that the Zondo commission and the new blood at the national prosecuting authority will do his dirty work for him and discredit Zuma, his benefactors and cronies to such an extent that they're virtually neutralised.

Personally I think the suggestion coming out of KZN on the weekend,  that Zuma should be offered an ambassadorship, is a good idea. It would take him out of circulation and end his toxic role in our politics.

But the right victim country should be chosen. I would propose Somalia, Yemen, Syria or South Sudan.

But even if Nxamalala sits in Mogadishu or Juba, the real adder in the bosom is still here and isn't planning to go anywhere, unless he is given orange overalls soon: ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.

Magashule was recorded last year saying to Zuma followers at a private gathering that people shouldn't worry, Ramaphosa will only be leading the ANC until the next ANC national conference.

The DA just loves this story and runs around selling the narrative that a vote for Cyril is actually a vote for David Mabuza, his deputy, because the ANC is going to kick out Ramaphosa in 2022.

I suppose it's possible that this could happen, but if it does, he won't be replaced by Mabuza. Neither camp in the ANC can stand him. We will have to wait to see which leading figure in the Zuma camp isn't in jail by then before we can speculate about a replacement.

Every time I talk to people in the Ramaphosa inner circle, they tell me that he is going to drastically reduce the size of the executive and the civil service after the election; that he will turn the state-owned enterprises back into profitability; introduce public/private partnerships; that he will make sure that the expropriation without compensation project does no damage to agriculture or the economy; and that he will clean up the ANC of crooks and charlatans.

I think he genuinely wants to do these things. But we now know that his opposition inside his own party is still much stronger than he (and most observers) had anticipated.

Ramaphosa doesn't only want a full term until the next election in 2024, he wants a second term as president until 2029.

How realistic is it to expect that he won't be inhibited by the possibility of an early recall?
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Carin Smith, writing in “Fin 24” on 18 January
The issue of land expropriation in SA is fundamentally about urban rather than rural land, believes political commentator Max du Preez.

"We see dozens of land occupations in urban areas every week," he said at the annual Nedbank Vinpro Information Day for the wine industry, which took place in Cape Town on Thursday (17th January).

In his view, a major potential problem lies not in productive land or property, but more in the reaction of "the poor and radicals" when they realise after the election that land expropriation will not happen on a large scale.

Du Preez argued that 40% of South Africa's people live in metropolitan areas, and government "does not have a plan to cope with this scale of urbanisation". 
"Massive informal settlements have sprung up," he said.

"When former president Jacob Zuma recently said land is wealth, I so wanted to respond that farmers are not making it financially despite their hard work. There is no money in farming, but that is the line that has been sold to the people. What is the government going to do after the election when people say 'where is our land'?"

Du Preez noted that very little progress had been made with land reform since 1994 and said under Zuma it came to a "standstill". He cited a report that found the problem with land reform was not the Constitution, but maladministration and corruption in government.

'Landmine'
In his view, the "Zuma-faction" planted the change of the ANC policy on land expropriation as a "landmine" for Ramaphosa at the ANC NEC in December 2017.
"Ramaphosa faced the choice of the NEC conference collapsing and Zuma remaining in charge or going with this compromise on land expropriation. Now Ramaphosa is stuck with it," said Du Preez.

He said a survey by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) indicated that very few black people actually wanted to take the risk of commercial farming.

"People who have access to land have been streaming to cities. So if people don't want to farm and those with land have abandoned it, what is the fuss about? The ANC just did not want to be seen as being outdone by the radicals of the EFF," said Du Preez.

"The land issue is not a farming or agriculture issue, but a proxy for the frustration that 25 years since the start of democracy black lives have not changed fundamentally. Let us just wait until after the election. Then we will see the 'real' Cyril."

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The above matters are updates to the recent previous newsflashes and, for clarity, should be read in conjunction with them.

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.

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