Sat. Jan 25th, 2020

“We are going home!” – Claimants celebrate District Six judgment

district six claimants restitution minister maite nkoana-mashabaneNkoana-Mashabane will have to explain why, since 1998, no progress has been made in the restitution of the District Six claimants

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After a lengthy legal tussle between the Ministry of Land Reform and Rural Development and District Six claimants, the courts have ruled in favour of the latter.

On Wednesday, the Western Cape High Court approved an order for minister Maite Mkoana-Mashabane to appear before the court on 17 May, to explain why her department was in contempt of a previous court order that had compelled the ministry to furnish details of a development plan for the area.

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District Six claimants in pursuit of restitution

As reported by IOL News, in March, Judge Jody Kollapen had ordered Nkoana-Mashabane to issue a detailed plan on how the department was going to approach its development plan, considering that 89% of the claimants have yet to receive restitution,

Kollapen ruled that the government had grossly violated the rights of the District Six claimants who, since 1998, have been awaiting progress on their claims.

“In court papers, the minister did not comply with that order and instead filed a report with the court on February 26, 2019, which stated that her report does not contain the plan and programme which the court ordered her to deliver by that date.

“What is more astounding is that in her report the minister does not explain why she has not complied with the order and it also does not even say when she will deliver the plan she was ordered to deliver,” the judge said.

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Courts force Nkoana-Mashabane to explain herself

After the District Six Working Committee took the matter to the High Court, the ruling was upheld that Nkoana-Mashabane must address the issue in a court of law.

Outside the court, scores of claimants and their supporters gathered in celebration of a victory in their fight for restitution.

“The minister shows no appreciation of the urgency of fulfilling the rights of the people of District Six, and for us, it is not acceptable that 20 years after they lodged their claims, there is still no plan or programme to fulfil their rights,” the committee said.

Watch: District Six claimants celebrate ruling outside high court

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