21 August 2019 - NW249
Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
(a) What total number of land claims are currently in court, (b) how long has each of the cases been going on in court, (c) what number of judges are currently serving in land claims courts and (d) how many are needed in order to speed up the processes?
b) Currently the earliest (long serving) case dates back to 1998. It becomes difficult to state how long a case can stay at the Land Claims Court solely because a litigant sues the department or Commission based on a decision taken by a Commissioner. Once that decision is reviewed/ set aside or corrected, for example, in acceptance/ gazetting of a claim, such a litigant will then compel referral of the claim to the Land Claims Court under the same case number as the initial case, then there might be other interlocutory applications on the same case requiring a number of various actions or directives to be issued by the judge or bring certain things to be done e.g Research / Mapping or valuation of lease rights.
c) The total number of the Land Claims Court Judges known to the Commission is (Four) being:
- Acting Judge President Justice Meer
- Acting Judge Molefe
- Acting Judge Ngcukaitobi
- Acting Judge Canca
d) The Department of Justice via the Land Claims Court can be the relevant institution to respond to this question as the Commission does not know the time period a judge requires to fast-tract the finalisation of the cases.