land rights

Major precedent set for communities affected by mining

Constitutional Court judge quotes Fanon: to “strip someone of their source of livelihood, then you strip them of their dignity too”

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled in favour of communities arguing for a bigger say in mining decisions.

Members of the Lesetlheng community in North West were granted an appeal to an eviction notice that was previously approved by the North West High Court in 2017. It would have seen 13 families evicted from their farmland to make way for a mining project of Bakgatla Mineral Resources and Pilanesburg Platinum Mine (PPM).

Land commission reversed after “monumental, unmitigated” breach of natural justice

LAND issues are causing storms in many African countries as politicians, courts and ordinary people struggle to work out a just solution to problems of land ownership. While in Uganda the issue of how the judiciary handles land issues is currently causing a spat between judges themselves, in Kenya a new decision has seen the National Land Commission thoroughly trounced by the high court because of the way it has handled a matter.

 

Read the judgment here

 

THE case, brought by the Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (KRC), puts the spotlight on a decision by the National Land Commission, with the court ultimately holding that the commission violated the rules of natural justice and that its decision has to be set aside.

The Complexity of Land Expropriation

TO an outsider, the case might at first sight seem no more than a relatively simple dispute over ownership of the land on which a shopping mall is being built. But the case of Stantoll v Johannes involves far more complex issues than that. It is also about the difficulties surrounding state expropriation of land and subsequent expectations of compensation, at a time when this is a hot issue in many African countries.

THE case that initially sparked all the trouble involves a property developer and members of an extended family clan that used to live on the site where the development is taking place.

The disputed land lies in Ongwediva, part of Namibia’s remote, far north, an area where communal land rights are a hot issue and where the country’s ruling party has its stronghold. It’s also an area ripe for development.

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