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- Are initiated in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 (Act No. 22 of 1994).
- Is a legal process in terms of Section 25(7) of the Constitution.
- An individual or representative of a group submits a land claim.
- The validity of the claim is determined by the Land Claims Commission.
- The Commission conducts the case for and on behalf of the claimants.
- The Commission inspects the property which is being claimed to determine the existence of graves and/or structures.
- It is considered an offense if a landowner prevents the Commission from performing such an inspection.
- Depending on the inspection it will be determined whether the claim has merit or not.
- If the claim is considered valid, it is advertised in the Government Gazette and a notice is given to the landowner.
- Further research and investigation are done with regard to the claim.
- The landowner is given an opportunity to submit objections and evidence.
- The identity of claimants will then be verified and confirmed.
- Negotiations with the landowner are established to either acquire the land for remuneration, or to simply pay compensation to claimants if they do not want the land.
- If landowners want to oppose a claim where land is claimed, the matter will be referred to the Land Claims Court.
- After a court had made a final decision on compensation and the validity of the claim, the final order will be confirmed and will be binding for the parties.
- AfriBusiness can assist its members to remove intruders in land grab cases, provided that they acted proactively with regard to the following steps.
- Land grabs are initiated by a group of individuals who enter a property illegally and who measure plots for occupation.
- This is totally illegal and tantamount to trespassing of property in terms of the Trespass Act, 1959 (Act No. 6 of 1959).
- The Constitution protects the landowner against land grabs in terms of Section 25(1).
- When the owner becomes aware of land grabs, the owner has to call the police and report a case of trespassing (criminal case).
- If the police neglect and/or fail to remove trespassers, legal action must be taken as soon as possible (civil case).
- Take photos of intruders, of the measuring of plots and of the erecting of structures.
- The landowner must be in possession of the title deed of the land in order to institute legal action.
- Legal action should preferably be taken on an urgent basis, while plots are still being measured and before structures are being erected.
- Try to identify individuals and to determine the reason for the occupation, if it is safe to do so.
- Social media platforms like Facebook can sometimes be a way to identify individuals who encourage unrest.
- Make sure that the Sheriff, the Local Police Commander, the Minister of Police and the Department of Police are added as parties to the lawsuit.
- After a successful court order was obtained to remove intruders, the order must be taken to the Sheriff and the police as soon as possible to remove the intruders, as well as any structures erected on the land.