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Zuma’s land claim remarks ‘misleading’

Author: Troye Lund

OPPOSITION parties and land experts have accused President Jacob Zuma of creating false hope by promising that the reopened land claims process would allow people to lodge claims on land that was lost before the Native Land Act was passed in 1913.

The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill, which was signed into law in June, has reopened land claims for five years. It is intended to accommodate people who did not lodge claims during the first five-year process, which closed in 1998.

Chief Land Claims Commissioner Nomfundo Gobodo told Parliament’s rural development and land reform portfolio committee yesterday that the constitution prevented the commission from accepting claims for land lost before 1913.

Ms Gobodo said the process that would allow communities to earmark land as a heritage site or historic landmark was “a totally different process”. It was being “researched” by government but it was not linked to restitution.

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