More than R68 000 – that is how much the business organisation Sakeliga will be recovering under a cost order in its favour from Black First Land First (BLF). Sakeliga intends to use the money to fund its Landgrab911-platform, launched today.
The cost order, stemming from an interdict in Sakeliga’s favour, was awarded last year when the Pretoria High Court barred the BLF, and its leaders Andile Mngxitama and Zanele Lwana, from inciting land grabs.
“Organisations like the BLF that show little regard for law and good sense in their public conduct, must be shown that there are consequences to their actions. It has, once again, recently become abundantly clear that the BLF and Mngxitama have no regard for property, the integrity and dignity of other people, or even of the legal order itself. For this reason, we intend to invest the money we shall recover from them into protecting property and the constitutional order,” says Armand Greyling, Legal- and Policy Analyst for Sakeliga.
In a letter to BLF, Sakeliga demands the payment of its legal bill, appraised at R68,303.45, within fourteen days. Should the BLF refuse or fail to pay the stipulated amount, Sakeliga will proceed to having their assets seized. Should no such assets be available, the organisation will have the organisation’s funds (as well as that of its leadership) seized instead.
Project launched: Landgrab911
Landgrab911 empowers land owners with information, legal assistance and property records from the Chief Surveyor General, allowing participants to prepare against land invasions proactively, or for acting against a landgrab in progress.
Piet le Roux, CEO of Sakeliga, says the organisation wants to assist businesspeople and communities in resisting illegal landgrabs, as the government has failed at acting to prevent them.
“Property rights in South Africa are under pressure. The ANC and EFF’s attempts to amend the Constitution to allow for “legal” expropriation without compensation create unreasonable expectations and fosters criminality. Even worse, Julius Malema and other radical and fringe characters are openly encouraging the illegal occupation of land. Despite repeated assurances by President Ramaphosa – that Government will not allow illegal landgrabs – this happened over and over again throughout 2018. There is, unfortunately, reason to believe land grabs will accelerate in 2019, unless businesspeople and communities have a hand in stopping them.”
Le Roux says the problem with land grabs is that they are contagious: “Illegal land occupation is not limited to agricultural land but often also occurs in urban, including commercial, areas. If land grabs occur unopposed in one part of the country, it encourages land grabs and lawlessness in other parts of the country as well. For this reason, it is in the public interest to repulse any land grabs, wherever they may occur. It safeguards the rule of law and prevents the overextension of the limited resources of the police and private security.
Users on the platform, in addition, gain access to the services of Hurter Spies Attorneys, with whom Sakeliga is cooperating to prevent illegal land grabs. With a view to protecting constitutionalism, Hurter Spies Attorneys have indicated that they would assist victims of illegal land occupation who are supporting Sakeliga with an amount of R300 or more monthly – and as such being members of Sakeliga – at reduced fees. Under this arrangement, urgent interdicts against land occupiers should amount to approximately R30 000, cost of an advocate included – rather than the R50 000 typically expected under normal circumstances.
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