|Land commission 'lied'
14/02/2006 08:47 - (SA)
Nicolize Mulder, Beeld
Port Elizabeth - Land claimants in the Eastern Cape are planning to sue the land claims commission to finalise a land claim within the Addo Elephant Park that has been delayed for more than ten years.
This followed after the Nyati community recently started co-operating with the owner of the farm Groot Uiye near Kirkwood in order to speed up the process. Both parties suddenly realised that the commission was apparently playing them off against each other.
Washington Nyati, spokesperson of the Nyati Trust, said on Monday that it was time "everybody knew" Tozi Gwanya, chief land claims commissioner's excuses about the snail pace of land reform were not true.
"In our case the land owner has been co-operating since the beginning. He has lost a lot and is being threatened with expropriation. The commission handled everything pathetically and caused delays.
"They (the commission) blame the farmers and the principle of willing buyer, willing seller, but they are actually delaying the process," said Nyati.
The good co-operation between the land owner, Kobie Botha, and the claimants followed after years of delays. "Only when we sat down around a table, we realised what was going on. They were playing us off against each other," said Botha.
He said officials of the commission, among other things, had told the Nyati community that he (Botha) wanted too much money. Botha in turn was told that the Nyati community was divided.
Nyati's grandfather handed in the land claim, which forms part of the Addo Elephant Park, in August 1995. It was published in the Government Gazette in 2002.
Egon Oswald, the Nyati community's attorney, confirmed on Monday that they were proceeding with the court application against the commission with the aim of finalising the purchase of the property.
The land consisted of three parts with separate title deeds. Two parts were claimed and the third part of about 700ha had already been sold to Sanparks in 2002. The Nyatis have already entered into a rental agreement with Sanparks for the remaining 550ha that was being claimed. But because the purchase had not yet gone through, they have been losing income since 2004.
Botha said the division of the land, an economic unit, also caused him a loss of income. Farming activities ceased in 1999.
He said the land had been valued several times over the years. Since months went by after every valuation, the land had to be valuated repeatedly.
Botha also said he had repeatedly been threatened with expropriation, although he had no control over the slow pace of the process.
It would appear that the ANC has adopted Mugabist moral bankrutcy as policy.