D-Day looms for land reform minister on District Six development

Cape Town – The clock is ticking for Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to appear this Friday in the Western Cape High Court to explain why she failed to provide a holistic plan for the development of District Six.

“I want to re-emphasise that the restorative justice we’re seeking should holistically rehabilitate and reintegrate the dispossessed community into the fabric of society – to the extent that government, the claimant community, stakeholders and business partners should in the immediate future work hand in hand to restore not only the property losses, but all the consequential losses this community suffered as a result of apartheid and forced removals. The generational and accompanying socio-economic damage would then also be reversed.

“Only then will we be able to say that restitution has truly worked in South Africa. That is the catalyst,” Chairperson of the District Six Working Committee Shahied Ajam said.

Ajam said that phase three of their legal strategy was to serve notice on the Minister of Rural Development to appear in court as quickly as possible so they could ask the court that she be held in contempt of court.

“I want to send a clear warning to the government that this is only the beginning of their nightmare,” he said.

“In our quest for ultimate restorative justice, the D6WC overall strategic plan of action, from a legal perspective, will expose the many fatal flaws with which restitution was tackled in District Six. The working committee also highlighted the many flaws in the government’s approach to District Six.

“The irony is that in the same memorandum we suggested many lasting solutions to an already fragile process. But the government didn’t take heed. So now everything will come to light in court and the government will have to pay the price.”

In Nkoana-Mashabane’s affidavit she said that the estimated cost to provide restitution to the current claimants was about R2.4billion.

“The department does not have these funds available and hence the need for a workable, sustainable and agreed holistic plan.

“This process (which precedes my time as minister) is long and cumbersome but is extremely important in ensuring proper planning,” Mashabane said in her affidavit.

She also said that they had to take into account issues such as accommodating growing families in medium- density residential housing.

2009x1125?source=https%3A%2F%2Finm baobab prod eu west 1.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Finm%2Fmedia%2Fimage%2F108797637 - D-Day looms for land reform minister on District Six development
A view of the city from Constitution Street in District Six. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA) Archives



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