Can a local community governed by a system of customary law fish in a marine protected area without a permit? In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has said it can. The decision is a victory for people living in the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape who rely on fishing.
By Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti
6 June 2018
The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that traditional fishers do not need a permit to fish in the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve. Photo: Ben Bezuidenhout via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Do traditional leaders have to consult with their community before litigating on their behalf? On 9 March 2018, a Mahikeng High Court judgment answered this question: yes, they do.
28 May 2018
The Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN) is a tribal community of approximately 300,000 people. RBN applied to court for an order declaring that it is the owner of 60 properties in North-West Province.
RBN asked for this order because, according to the title deeds, the properties are being held by the Minister of Land Affairs “in trust for” the RBN. RBN contended however, that there was no trust relationship between it and the Minister and it was the outright owner of the properties.