South Africa to Seize Land from White Owners

The land grabs were approved where negotiations to purchase failed
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2018 5:00 PM CDT
South African minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane attends a meeting in Gaborone in Botswana.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The South African government has begun the controversial process of seizing land from white farmers in cases where negotiations to purchase the plots have fallen through. Per Newsweek, two game farms in the country's Limpopo province will be the first ones taken under the order after their owners declined to sell for a government offer that was a tenth of the asking price. While South African authorities say they still intend to pay Johan Steenkamp and Arnold Cloete, the owners of the land, the equivalent of $1.37 million, the men had priced the land at $13.7 million.

Per News.com.au, the farmers' landholding company, Akkerland Boerdery, was sent a letter in April regarding an audit of the land that would be conducted by the government. Akkerland Boerdery reportedly received an injunction to prevent their eviction, however the country's Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs has opposed the injunction. Should the seizures go through, it would reportedly be the first case of the government refusing to pay market value. Under existing laws, such a seizure is allowed only if it's in the public interest. Since the end of apartheid, the government has only redistributed land to black South Africans only from willing white sellers. (Read more South Africa stories.)

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