Land grabs: It’s not only a question of taking

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The business rights watchdog, AfriBusiness, warns that land cannot simply be taken, while all indications suggest that there will be an increase in both land grabs and expropriations in South Africa in 2017.

This follows after President Jacob Zuma during the recent celebration of the ANC’s 105th anniversary promised thousands of supporters that 2017 will be the year in which the Expropriation Bill will be harnessed to make land reform and redistribution happen with greater speed and urgency.

The EFF also regularly spurs its supporters on to occupy land, despite the terms of the country’s laws and even the Constitution. Julius Malema appeared in court in 2016 because of statements that incited violence, nevertheless he continued to make similar statements outside the court directly after the court proceedings.

AfriBusiness therefore, with reference to his threats and incitement to violence and trespassing, submitted a civil application for an interdict against Julius Malema. The application will be heard by the North Gauteng High Court on 7 March 2017.

“Article 25 of the Constitution of the republic of South Africa, 1996 states the prohibition of arbitrary expropriation very clearly. Compensation is mandatory in terms of article 25(2)(b) and in the case of a dispute over the amount of the compensation, the final say lies with the courts,” says Pieterse.

AfriBusiness, with help from legal processes and the Red Ants, assisted various land owners in removing land grabbers in 2016.

“We will continue to protect our members’ rights and will not hesitate to approach the courts to ensure that this happens,” Pieterse concluded