Court halts expropriation of Akkerland farms
The Land Claims Court has reversed the high profile expropriation of the Akkerland Boerdery farms in Limpopo, says Rapport. The order was made by agreement after the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform conceded it had not followed the correct procedures to expropriate the farms unilaterally for a compensation figure of R20m certified by the Valuer-General.
Akkerland had earlier obtained an interdict against the state prohibiting officials from taking possession of the farms. Since the signing of the final expropriation notice, another community has entered the fray with a competing claim over the farms Lukin and Salaita. Both the Masekwa community, which was granted the farms, and the Kuvule community, will have to prove their claims from scratch, said Theon Smith, Akkerland’s attorney. Akkerland disputed the validity of the claim over one of the farms and also the compensation amount. It claims the farms are worth R200m.
The expropriations were the first in which the Minister invoked section 42 of the Restitution of Land Rights Act to expropriate property where negotiations for a sale had deadlocked.
Smith says the government conceded that it had to afford Akkerland an opportunity to challenge the claim in court before issuing the final expropriation notice.
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