The Democratic Alliance (DA) has slammed the ANC government’s decision to appeal a landmark high court judgment ordering the state to sell David Rakgase’s farm to him.
Rakgase has been leasing Nooitgedacht farm in Limpopo from the state for three decades. The state agreed to sell it to him back in 2002, but then failed to transfer the property to him despite him agreeing to buy it.
Judge Norman Davis ruled in September at the High Court in Pretoria that the state must now sell the land to the 79-year old farmer, finding it had violated the constitution by failing to do so, but the department of land reform and rural development has stated they were preparing to appeal the ruling.
Rakgase alleges that his land was invaded in 2016 due to the invaders saying he had insufficient claim to the land because the state was only leasing it to him rather than granting him the opportunity to own it.
The DA has slammed government for its decision to appeal both on Twitter and through a statement.
“If you ever believed the ANC government cares about giving black South Africans OWNERSHIP of land, think again,” the party tweeted.
“They’re appealing a court ruling that they must allow Mr David Rakgase to buy the govt land he has been leasing for nearly three decades!”
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The statement, meanwhile, accuses the ANC government of keeping the “cruel Land Act of 1913 … very much alive by refusing black farmers ownership of land”.
“The ANC government is waging a war of attrition against emerging black farmers, hoping they will give up on their fight.
“The DA strongly opposes this decision by the government as it proves that the ANC does not support black South Africans’ right to ownership of land but sees nationalisation as [a] tool for land reform.”
The full statement is available here.
The state’s decision to appeal appears to go against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s policies. He has repeatedly said he “rejects the notion” of the state owning all land in South Africa and said in 2018 on eNCA: “Land is an asset that people want to have in their hands so that they can work this asset.”
Nationalisation of land is supported by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which advances the idea in its manifesto that all land should be owned by the state and leased for 25 years.
Nationalisation of land is also supported by former president Jacob Zuma.
The DA, in contrast, says while it supports land restitution and redistribution, it believes in private property rights, and wants farms to be owned, not leased by emerging black farmers.
We call on more farmers to contact the DA.
We will fight alongside you in court to ensure you become land-owners of the government land you have been leasing for years. https://t.co/vUDEkKP6Gj
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) September 30, 2019