Land expropriation without compensation concerns have resulted in a flood of interdicts being sought in the High Court to prevent land invasions or evict those already illegally occupying land.

A Cape Argus report says 37 farmers have sought interdicts after a pamphlet was circulated about possible land invasions by the Black First Land First Movement and several interdicts were sought by private property owners against possible land invasions, as well as by the City of Cape Town against land invaders in Khayelitsha.

Economist Dawie Roodt said the protection of private property rights was at the centre of the rush to the courts. ‘The news of land expropriation without compensation has been widely publicised. People started to occupy land and the impression was created that it’s no longer wrong to do it. The impression was also created there is original sin that needed to be punished.’

He added: ‘I also have a problem with the police not acting when land invasions take place. It has become a trend and this could escalate into a flood.’

Cape Town mayoral member for human settlements Malusi Booi condemned the invasions, saying it could negatively impact investment and that harsh actions could be imposed by foreign governments should the farms not be protected.

Yesterday, two cases were before Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath.

In the first, Asla Devco and Asla Construction applied for an interdict to stop people in the Strand from illegally occupying different sites. The matter was postponed to Tuesday to allow advocate Thulasizwe Twalo to compile answering affidavits on behalf of the respondents and show why they should be allowed to stay on the land in question.

In the second matter, an interdict was granted in favour of Milnerton Estates against those threatening to enter or occupy the properties known as Sandown and Rivergate.

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