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Lawyer: NW community still awaiting return of land, plus tourism income

The Constitutional Court ruled three years ago that the Land Reform Department must help residents under the association obtain their land which now forms part of Sun City and Pilanesberg game resort.

FILE: Sun City in the North West. Picture: places.co.za

RANDBURG - The Bakgatla Ba Kgafela communal property association is once again seeking help from the Land Claims Court - on an urgent basis - to force government to hand over land in the north to its rightful owners.

The Constitutional Court ruled three years ago that the Land Reform Department must help residents under the association obtain their land which now forms part of Sun City and Pilanesberg game resort.

The association was formed by members of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela traditional community, which occupies 32 villages in the Moses Kotane municipal area.

Their land claim lodged by the Restitution of Land Rights Act was approved in 2006.

In 2015, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Communal Property Association.

Community members lost this land under apartheid.

Their lawyer Gerhard Pretorius says the community is still waiting for the 35 farms occupied by 32 villages to be given back as well as the income generated from tourism to be handed over.

He says the government’s delay in giving back this land is only causing divisions among the community.

“And we’ve actually appealed them already in contempt of court and now their frivolous behaviour or selective or comedian behaviour is delaying the matter.”

This David and Goliath case, which has been dragging on for 12 years already, will resume next month.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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