Land claims submitted by Front National

Front National

Every so often, there are allegations that Front National (FN) does not tell the truth on social media and the latest untruth is that there were never any land claims submitted. FN published an article about how the government placed a moratorium of five years on the hearing of all claims submitted.

In the meantime, the Expropriation of Properties Act was passed, and that the process of land claims by the government is largely useless.

Nevertheless, the gossipers are quick to point fingers and call FN liars, what they should have done was check the facts.
Here is the letter written by FN.

19 August 2014
The Honorable Mr Gugile Nkwinti MP
Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
The Republic of South Africa.
Sir:
Notification of intending to submit a claim for the restitution of the Republic of Stellaland
Background and history
Stellaland, officially known as the Republic of Stellaland (Dutch: Republiek Stellaland) from 1882–1883 and, after unification with the neighboring State of Goshen, as the United States of Stellaland (Dutch: Verenigde Staten van Stellaland) from 1883–1885, was a Boer republic located in an area of Bechuanaland, west of the then Transvaal.

During its short history, the small state became a focal point for conflict between the British Empire and the South African Republic, the two major players vying for control of the territory. After a series of claims and annexations, British fears of Boer expansionism ultimately led to its demise and, among other factors, set the stage for the Second Boer War.

Before the proclamation of the republic, the area was under the control of competing Griqua and Tswana groups, while the United Kingdom laid claim to it as part of the emerging protectorate of British Bechuanaland. Two of the indigenous groups were under the leadership of chiefs Mankoroane and Montsioa, whom the British regarded as “friendly”, and another two under the leadership of chiefs Moshette and Massouw. When a feud erupted between Mankoroane and another chief, each side resorted to recruiting volunteers, promising them land in return for their assistance. After a settlement was negotiated with mediation from the Transvaal Republic, large portions of Mankoroane’s land with 416 farms of 3,000 morgen (2,563 ha) each (15500 square kilometers) were given to Boer mercenaries who had fought on his adversary’s side, and the new inhabitants decided to declare independence.

The Republic of Stellaland was formally created on 26 July 1882, under the leadership of its elected president Gerrit Jacobus van Niekerk, a farmer from Transvaal, and was given the name Stellaland (Star Land) in reference to a comet that was visible in the skies at the time. The town of Vryburg was founded and declared its capital. At its founding, the new country covered an area of 15,500 km2 (5,985 sq mi) and was home to an estimated population of 20,500 individuals, 3,000 of whom were of European ancestry.
The recognition of the sovereign status of Stellaland from the United Kingdom can be implied from a telegram that was sent by Sir Charles Warren, military commander for British Bechuanaland, to van Niekerk in which he endorsed Cecil Rhodes’ settlement in Stellaland. In February 1884, Great Britain unilaterally declared the area a British protectorate. This status never formally ceased.

Stellaland’s laws and constitution were practically identical to those of the South African Republic. It never issued an independent currency, but instead—like all the surrounding states—used the South African pound; it did, however, print its own postage stamps beginning in February 1884 that are still traded among collectors to the present day.

Due to the fact that van Niekerk’s government had announced to levy taxes on all trade going through its territory, both Cecil Rhodes, founder of the De Beers diamond company and the British administration feared a setback for their endeavors in the mining business, since Stellaland lay on one of the main trade routes. It was also presumed that the small country could eventually be incorporated into the neighboring South African Republic (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek or popularly called “Transvaal”) in an effort to circumvent the Pretoria Convention of 1881 that called for an end to Boer expansionism.

Rhodes even asserted that the area was of such a crucial nature to the Crown that if the territory held by Stellaland remained under Afrikaner control, British presence “should fall from the position of a paramount state in South Africa to that of a minor state.” These fears were fueled when, on 10 September 1884, President Paul Kruger of Transvaal declared the area to be under the protection of the South African Republic and annexed it six days later. In December 1884, the British sent in a force under Sir Charles Warren, who invaded the country and subsequently abolished the republic in August of the following year before it was declared a British Protectorate.
The claim for restitution of the status of Stellaland
STELLALAND
Front National is a registered political party in the Republic of South Africa. FN was asked to facilitate a dispute about the Republic of Stellaland.

1. Stellaland is still a British Protectorate brought about by an agreement signed by Sir Alfred Milner on behalf of the British government and President Van Niekerk of the Republic of Stellaland in 1884.

2. Stellaland did not take part in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902 and was indeed, as a British Protectorate, used to house British troops in the conflict.

3. Stellaland as a territory was not included in the peace negotiations of 1902 at Vereeniging, comprising of the Cape Colony, Natal colony, Transvaal and the Free State.

4. Stellaland was not mentioned in the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910 from which the Republic of South Africa flowed in 1961.

5. It is our submission that Stellaland as a British Protectorate, governed by the constitution of the Republic of Stellaland, never ceased to exist for no law or statute can be found ending its existence.

6. We draw your attention to the fact that the Republic of Stellaland could not be annexed into the Union of South Africa by the British government as it was/is a British Protectorate.
7. Sufficient evidence exists that the Republic of Stellaland was recognized by the British Empire and other sovereign countries as a legitimate, sovereign state.
FRONT NATIONAL THUS INTENDS TO:
1. Ask the South African Government, British government and the European Union to recognise the Republic of Stellaland as a separate entity;

2. Ask the parties to intervene and restore the status of Stellaland, especially with regard to
2.1 the citizenship of the said territory;

2.2 The agreements of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) regarding trade and mineral rights in the area;

2.3 the discriminatory handing over of land in the said area to people not qualifying as Stellaland citizens in terms of the South African land claims process;
2.4 Where such land claims were instituted, that those agreements be declared null and void and that the compensation and restitutions paid to the land claim proponents on the instruction of the South African government in regard to mining houses and businesses be paid back to the mining houses and businesses.

3. Flowing from this the citizens of Stellaland according to the constitution of the area will ask for protection from the British government;

4. Stellaland will ask for self-determination in terms of the South African constitution, Article 235, as well as under the provisions of various United Nations resolutions on self-determinations of which the South African government is a signatory.

5. Stellaland asks your backing in our bid for inclusion in the Commonwealth.
We request an urgent principled answer on the dispute of restitution of Stellaland so that the international status can be resolved and practical solutions can be implemented to restore the status.

The documents relating to the restitution claim were delivered to the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and receipt of it was acknowledged. We now need to table it for discussion with the British Government and the South African government.

Final legal documentation with evidence of the claim is being prepared now.
HANNES ENGELBRECHT
Leader: Front National
On behalf of the Executive Committee of Front National.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on Front Nasionaal SA – blad

South Africa Today – South Africa News

SOURCEFront National