Land reform: AfriForum challenges Parliamentary report


Lobby group AfriForum was back before the Western Cape High Court today to challenge a Parliamentary report that has paved the way for land expropriation without compensation.

CAPE TOWN - AfriForum was back in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday to challenge a Parliamentary report paving the way for land expropriation without compensation

The lobby group argues the 2018 report is unconstitutional because it excluded more than 170,000 submissions rejecting the amendment of the constitution. 

At the time, AfriForum failed to interdict Parliament from adopting the report. 

READ: AfriForum opposes land expropriation in comments to Parliament

The group argued the committee abdicated its responsibility by endorsing the work of an external service provider enlisted to analyse the submissions.

"What we do have qualms with, is that a service provider asked to analyse and report submissions excluded on its own," said AfriForum's counsel Etienne Labuschagne.

"In other words made a value judgement to exclude as invalid, submissions and thereafter this exclusion is rubber-stamped by the committee itself.

READ: AfriForum, COPE team up to fight land expropriation without compensation

"That we say is a manifest failure of procedural rationality and it’s an infringement of the right to fair administrative action." 

Meanwhile, Parliament has hit back saying AfriForum is playing a political game.

It’s told the Western Cape High Court it believes the application is moot because it has been overtaken by events.

READ: Land expropriation another nail in SA economy: AgriSA​​​​​​​

Legislation has already been drafted to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

That legislation is currently open to a public review process. 

"You are asked for a declaration of invalidity. But it is a wholly pointless declaration of invalidity because the report was produced it was not binding on anyone," said Parliament's counsel Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

READ: Cape Town first if land expropriation goes ahead: Sisulu​​​​​​​

"Subsequently a bill was produced which is binding but that bill entails public participation so that should put paid to their argument that this case is not moot.

"The explanation is a simple one, it’s been overtaken by events, secondly, anything that you say your ladyship is required to say on invalidity will produce no practical outcome. 

Judgment in the matter has been reserved.


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