The battle over a R50m land claim settlement awarded to a rural community after it was forcibly removed to make way for the Wild Coast Sun hotel created by magnate Sol Kerzner appears to have been settled, according to a report in The Sunday Independent.

The Land Claims Court ruled last month that it had no jurisdiction over the dispute between members and beneficiaries of the uMgungundlovu Communal Property Association (CPA), which includes the mineral-rich Xolobeni, which is also subjected to legal battles over mining in the area on the border between the Eastern Cape and KZN.

Executive committee members of the uMgungundlovu CPA had been taken to the Land Claims Court by beneficiaries calling themselves the Concerned Land Claimants, who sought to stop the CPA’s executives from accessing and operating its bank account.

According to court papers, the concerned group wanted Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza to take over control and management of the CPA’s affairs pending the election of a new or interim committee.

In response, the CPA’s executives maintained that the application was an abuse of process as it related to historical grievances with no basis in fact or law.

Land Claims Court Acting Judge MP Canca found that there was a long history of ill-will between members of the concerned group and CPA executive committee elected in 2014 amid accusations of misuse of development funds despite comprehensive financial controls being in place.

The concerned group’s application was unsuccessful on technical grounds and not merits, the acting judge found.

Thamsanqa Malusi, of Richard Spoor Attorneys, for the CPA, reportedly told Independent Media that the group had not indicated whether it would take the matter further.

Full report in The Sunday Independent (subscription needed)