[Hpn] Constitutional Court To Rule On Squatters

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Mon, 2 Aug 2004 06:43:36 -0400


ConCourt to rule on squatters

02/08/2004 - (SA)

Philip de Bruin

Johannesburg - Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson has ordered, against all
expectations, that the row over thousands of squatters on the farm
Modderklip on the East Rand be continued in the Constitutional Court.
Chaskalson ordered that Government's appeal application against the ruling
of the Appeal Court in favour of the farm's owner, Braam Duvenage, be argued
before the Constitutional Court on November 5. Both parties must then argue
the merits of the case.

Duvenage was devastated when he heard this news over the weekend. "I do not
know anymore whether the fight is worth it," he said.

The Rand and Pretoria high courts have already ruled in his favour and
ordered Government to control the situation regarding the approximately 60
000 squatters.

The Appeal Court ordered Government to find other land for the squatters or
to buy Duvenhage's land from him and to pay him constitutional damages for
the years in which his constitutional right to his property was violated.
Professor Marinus Wiechers, former law lecturer at the University of South
Africa, said Chaskalson's decision should be welcomed.

"The Appeal Court stressed that it was Government's responsibility to
protect citizens against squatting and it would be good if the
Constitutional Court ratified this ruling," he said.

Edited by Jannie Momberg

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