The management body of SA’s biggest land claim – the R1.1bn Mala Mala Nature Reserve – has been ordered by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to be transparent and release financial statements to beneficiaries.

City Press reports the Nwandlamharhi Communal Property Association (CPA) has been accused by a section of the 960 beneficiary families of mismanagement, of a lack of transparency and withholding dividends that are due to them.

Eight beneficiaries took the squabble to court to ask it to order the Rural Development & Land Reform Minister to conduct a forensic investigation into the CPA’s former treasurer Derick Mthabine and his alleged associates.

Judge Nomsa Khumalo dismissed the beneficiaries’ application to place the CPA under the administration of the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform, but found in favour of the beneficiaries on a number of other issues.

Khumalo ordered the CPA to submit all documents in its possession, including financial records, to the DG and the beneficiaries within 30 days after the issuing of the court order. The judge also ordered the DG to release results of the verification process of the beneficiaries within 30 days, and soon thereafter prepare for the AGM and election of new CPA executive members.

The decision to institute a forensic investigation into the affairs of the CPA is deferred to the elective AGM, which is to be held in terms of the constitution within 60 days of the order of the court with the assistance of the DG,’ Khumalo said.

The judge also ruled that the DG should conduct an investigation into the dispute between the beneficiaries and CPA’s executive members.

Full City Press report