AfriForum submits comments – Rejects proposed Land Court Bill


AfriForum submits comments – Rejects proposed Land Court Bill
AfriForum submits comments - Rejects proposed Land Court Bill

AfriForum submitted a comments on 23 July 2021, to reject the Land Court Bill, which seeks to establish two new courts: the Land Court and the Land Court of Appeal. The civil rights movement argues that the draft Bill must be rejected and that it cannot and should not pass in its current form.

AfriForum actively advocates and protects the rights of property owners as enshrined in section 25 of the Constitution of South Africa, and opposes any attempt to diminish such rights.

Some of AfriForum’s main arguments include:

The Land Court should not be a court of equity. For legal certainty, the Land Court should only be a court of law.

There should never be an overemphasis on the aspects of race and gender in terms of the selection and appointment of judicial officers.

The proposed Land Court should not operate on an informal basis.

The proposed Bill will increase disputes and legal expenditure, and will cause further delay in finalising land disputes.

It does not make sense to include a section that allows discretion to permit any inadmissible evidence.

AfriForum objects to the section that in effect delegates the work of a presiding judge to a referee. Often when there are difficult calculations to be made, expert evidence has to be led. The Court has to make a final determination after hearing this evidence.

The Land Court of Appeal should not have exclusive jurisdiction in hearing appeals to the exclusion of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The bulk of the aspects listed should rather be dealt with in Rules of Court and not by promulgation by a minister in the form of regulations.

“The proposed draft Land Court Bill contains a myriad of aspects that are nonsensical and ripe for abuse. AfriForum made our case quite clear in our submission and trusts that reason prevails,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum