ANALYSIS | Black farmer sues govt for land it promised him

He trains up and coming black farmers but red tape has prevented him from buying land he has leased for 27 years

08 August 2018 - 06:10 By Karyn Maughan
Seventy-seven year old David Rakgase told the Pretoria High Court he has letters proving that the government offered to sell him a farm under a programme meant to help develop black farmers.
Seventy-seven year old David Rakgase told the Pretoria High Court he has letters proving that the government offered to sell him a farm under a programme meant to help develop black farmers.
Image: 123rf.com/Cristi Kerekes

In a potentially landmark matter, an elderly black farmer from Limpopo has launched a court bid to force the state to sell him the land he has leased since 1991.

David Rakgase, 77, says in papers before the Pretoria High Court he has been leasing the farm from the South African government since 1991. He says he was first offered ownership but later denied it. 

He and his family have been working on the 1,560-hectare farm Nooitgedacht in the Waterberg for the past 27 years and he says he has letters proving that the government offered to sell him the farm under a programme meant to help develop black farmers.

Rakgase says he is not the only black farmer who has been affected by the failed programme.

He and his son are believed to be the first to take on the provincial and national departments of rural development and land reform to court over the state’s alleged failure to follow through on a commitment to sell them the leased farm.

The state is opposing the matter.

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