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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Agri SA verleen finansiële bystand in grondeise-saak wat presedent skep | Agri SA provides financial assistance in precedent-setting land claim case

English to follow:

17 Julie 2023

Die raad van direkteure van Agri SA het besluit om finansiële ondersteuning te bied aan die applikant in die Moladora Trust v Mereki and Others Case (“Moladora-saak”). Die saak sal na verwagting ’n belangrike presedent skep, met verreikende implikasies vir private eiendomsreg in Suid-Afrika en die omvang van die Wet op die Uitbreiding van Sekerheid van Verblyfreg, 62 van 1997 (“ESTA”).

Die appèl is teen ’n uitspraak van die Grondeisehof wat weidingsregte ingevolge ESTA beskerm ten koste van private eiendomsreg. Indien die uitspraak gehandhaaf word, sal dit die administratiewe en regskoste van verwyderings ingevolge ESTA, sowel as die aanspreeklikheid van grondeienaars, aansienlik verhoog.

Die applikante in die appèl is van mening dat regter Cowen in die Moladora-saak versuim het om die presedente van die Hoogste Hof van Appèl wat reeds in die Adendorffs Boerderye en Loskop Landgoed Boerdery gestel is, behoorlik toe te pas. In die Moladora-uitspraak erken regter Cowen dat hierdie uitsprake bindend is op die Grondeisehof, maar omskep nietemin die reg om vee op die eiendom, wat ’n persoonlike reg is wat met toestemming verkry word, volgens ’n reg ingevolge ESTA te laat wei.

In ‘n nuwe saak voor vir Grondeisehof, die Elma Mostert Trust v Tebele Isaac Mofokeng and one Other (“Elma Mostert Trust-saak”), maak die okkupeerder staat op die uitspraak in die Moladora-saak om dit verder uit te brei. In die Elma Mostert Trust-saak word geargumenteer dat die verwydering van enige vee gedoen moet word in terme van ESTA. Deur te steun op die uitspraak in die Moladora-saak kan verreikende gevolge hê indien dit onbetwis toegelaat word en as ‘n presedent in toekomstige sake gebruik word. Dié eskalasie beklemtoon die noodsaaklikheid om die uitspraak van regter Cowen in Moladora om te keer. Dit is noodsaaklik dat die Moladora-uitspraak nie ’n presedent word nie.

Agri SA het ’n onafhanklike regsmening ingewin oor die Moladora-saak en die uitwerking daarvan op alle boere, indien die appèl onsuksesvol is. Dit was op grond van hierdie kundige leiding dat Agri SA besluit het om finansiële ondersteuning aan die appellant te bied.

Van uiterste belang vir Agri SA is die volhoubaarheid van boerdery in Suid-Afrika en die beskerming van die land se voedselsekerheid. Agri SA sal ondersteuning bied – hetsy wettig of andersins – waar nodig om die belange van die landbousektor te beskerm.

Navrae:

Willem de Chavonnes Vrugt

Voorsitter, Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Grond

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17 July 2023

The board of Directors at Agri SA has taken the decision to provide financial support to the appellant in the Moladora Trust v Mereki and Others Case (“Moladora case”). The case is expected to set an important precedent with far-reaching implications for private property rights in South Africa and the scope of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 (“ESTA”).

The appeal is against a Land Claims Court judgment that protects grazing rights under ESTA at the expense of private property rights. If this judgment is upheld, it will markedly increase the administrative and legal costs of removals under ESTA as well as the liability of landowners.

The applicants in the appeal believe that in the Moladora case, Judge Cowen failed to properly apply the Supreme Court of Appeal precedents already set in the Adendorffs Boerderye and Loskop Landgoed Boerdery. In the Moladora judgment, Judge Cowen admits that these judgements are binding on the Land Claims Court but nevertheless converts the right to graze cattle on the property, which is a personal right derived by consent, into a right under ESTA.

In a new case before the Land Claims Court, Elma Mostert Trust v Tebele Isaac Mofokeng and one Other (“Elma Moster Trust Case”) the occupier relies upon the judgment in the Moladora case and seeks to broaden it. In the Elma Mostert Trust case, it is argued that any removal of cattle ought therefore to be done in terms of ESTA. The reliance on the judgment in the Moladora case could have far-reaching consequences if allowed to go unchallenged and used as a precedent in future cases. This escalation underscores the need to reverse the judgment of Judge Cowen in Moladora. It is essential that the Moladora judgment does not become a precedent.

Agri SA sought independent legal counsel regarding the Moladora case and its impact on all farmers if the appeal is unsuccessful. It was based upon this expert guidance that Agri SA has taken the decision to provide financial support to the appellant.

Agri SA is concerned first and foremost with the sustainability of farming in South Africa and the protection of the nation’s food security. We will therefore provide support – whether legal or otherwise – where necessary to protect the interest of the agricultural sector.

Media enquiries:

Willem de Chavonnes Vrugt

Chairman of Centre of Excellent Land