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Mon Aug 29 07:33:49 SAST 2016

Labour tenants have to wait once more to be heard by court after judge suffers car trouble

Ernest Mabuza | 24 March, 2016 16:25
The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone. File photo.
Image by: SERGIO PEREZ/REUTERS

The long-awaited application for an appointment of someone to oversee the processing of land claims by labour tenants was postponed for the third time in the Land Claims Court in Randburg on Thursday.

This while some of the applicants had once again travelled from KwaZulu-Natal‚ Limpopo and Mpumalanga to attend court.

Viwe Notshe SC‚ advocate for Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti‚ requested the postponement of the application on Thursday as he wished to place more information before the court.

Although this was opposed by the labour tenants‚ Acting Judge Mokotedi Mpshe granted the postponement until May 12.

The matter was delayed by four hours earlier on Thursday when Mpshe experienced a problem with his car and could not make it to the court in Randburg on time.

The group of labour tenants want the court to appoint a special master to oversee the processing of their claims‚ which have been with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform since 2001.

While the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act of 1996 provided for labour tenants to claim ownership of land they and their parents and grandparents lived on and used‚ most of the 21 000 claims that were submitted by the cutoff date of March 2001 have to date not been processed.

The tenants approached the court in 2013 to compel the department to explain how it intended to deal with the outstanding claims.

In 2014‚ the court ordered the department to file a report to it and the tenants before March 31 last year. But the department missed this deadline and every subsequent deadline.

The case was due to be heard on March 18 but Mpshe informed the parties that he had another matter to attend to and asked them to arrange for another date in March.

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