New land claims process to be challenged in court
On 16 February 2016, civil society organisation will find their way to the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein to challenge the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014, which reopened the land restitution process for another five years. Fifty communities, who say the new process will disadvantage over 8,257 previous claimants whose cases were lodged during the initial process but have not been settled, will hold a night vigil at the Constitutional Court to voice their disapproval.
Land rights organisations, the Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA), the Association for Rural Advancement, Nkunzi Development Association, the Communal Property associations of Moddervlei, Maluleke Communal Property Association and Popela will represent these communities in court assisted by lawyers from the Legal Resources Centre and Webber Wentzel.
“Allowing claimants who had missed the initial window period to access the restitution process is to be welcomed. However, the outstanding claims (8,257) that were lodged during the initial period must still be finalised. These existing claims will be affected by the new influx of restitution claims. The issue is that the Act fails to give clear guidance on how to deal with new claims that may clash or affect pending or unresolved existing claims,” the organisations said in a statement.
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