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

Win in the courts!!

An excellent far reaching precedent setting outcome was handed down Judgment in the Moladora Trust v Mereki and Others case relating to ESTA.


On 3 April 2024 the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) handed down judgment in the Moladora Trust v Mereki and Others case, wherein Agri SA contributed towards the legal costs of the case, due to the far-reaching and precedent-setting consequences of a negative outcome.


The Moladora Trust v Mereki and Others case dealt with the right to graze cattle on the property and whether this right was protected by the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 (ESTA) and whether or not the removal of any cattle would have to be complied with in terms of clause 8 of ESTA.


The SCA confirmed its findings in Adendorff’s Boerdery v Shabalala and Others [2017] ZASCA 37 para 28; Loskop Landgoed Boerdery (Pty) Ltd and Others v Petrus Moeleso and Others [2022] ZASCA 53 para 14, where it held that the right of an occupier to keep or graze livestock on another person’s farm or land is not a right which derives from ESTA, but a personal right which derives from consent between the occupier and the land owner or person in charge.


The SCA upheld the appeal and ordered the farm occupiers to forthwith remove all their grazing animals, including but not limited to cattle, goats, horses, and sheep (livestock) from the applicant’s farm and that if they fail to comply within 30 (thirty) days from the date of the order, the Sheriff of the High Court or his deputy were ordered, with the assistance of the South African Police Services and the Pound Master for the district within which the farm is situated or his/her lawful substitute, to remove and impound the livestock.


The occupiers were interdicted and restrained from returning and keeping any livestock on the farm, without the prior consent of the applicant. The court ordered each party to pay their own legal costs.


The favourable outcome of this case is welcomed by Agri SA and will limit the inappropriate application of ESTA. We anticipate that the outcome of this case will assist in the resolution of future legal cases wherein occupiers had relied on the decision of the Moladora Trust v Mereki and Others case No: LCC70/2022 (ZALCC32) which has now been overturned.