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District Six land claimants ‘hopeful’ restitution plan will now be drafted

On Friday, the Land Claims Court found former Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane did not comply with a court order to come up with a proper plan for restitution in the area.

District Six land claimants were back in the Western Cape High Court on 2 August 2019. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Some District Six land claimants were hoping a series of court wins would translate into action for them and their fellow claimants.

On Friday, the Land Claims Court found former Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane did not comply with a court order to come up with a proper plan for restitution in the area.

It's the latest in a series of small victories for District Six claimants who had been waiting decades to go home. But some claimants questioned whether the court wins meant anything as they had yet to yield concrete action from government.

Nkoana-Mashabane would still have to pay for court proceedings which took place on 17 April. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform also had to pay the costs of the claimants’ legal fees in the contempt of court matter.

The court also ordered that the matter be brought to the attention of the chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee on land reform, Deputy President David Mabuza.

While this was a victory for claimants, some like Gadija Taliep we’re not convinced that it would speed things along.

“Every time it is a win, but it is also not a win for us... the time is going and we are getting older, we are getting weaker,” she said.

The District Six Working Committee was expected to host a public meeting on Saturday in Salt River to discuss the implications of the judgment.