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Property association wins battle for platinum-rich land in North West

Author: Penelope Mashego

JUBILATION filled the Constitutional Court on Thursday after the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Communal Property Association won a hard-fought and contentious battle for platinum-rich land in the North West. 

When Justice Chris Jafta handed down judgment on Thursday, he ended the long struggle within the association, which consists of 32 villages in the Moses Kotane local municipality, the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Authority and Kgosi Nyalala Pilane. 

The community was dispossessed of its land, which covers sections of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, during apartheid and lodged a successful land claim in 2006 under the Restitution of Land Rights Act. 

But to take possession of the land, the community had to form a communal property association under section 5 of the Communal Property Association Act.

 However, a dispute arose between the tribal authority, which wanted the land held in a trust, and the community, with the latter preferring that the land be held by an association. 

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