Twist in mineral rights case

2012-10-07 15:04

Cape Town – The November 8 hearing in the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the new dispensation in which the state is the supreme guardian of all mining rights has taken a turn.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng received three applications for admission as parties to the action. Each of the applications is for admission as amicus curiae (friend of the court).

The application by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Cals) at the University of the Witwatersrand will be on behalf of Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. The application is for the current dispensation to be retained.

Lisa Chamberlain, acting head of Cals, says the government has a constitutional duty to rectify the inequalities of the past – also in terms of mineral rights.

“The new law (which takes mineral rights away from landowners and puts them under the minister’s care) is the product of an extensive process of consultation to end the discriminatory system related to mineral rights that are in private hands. The old system was characteristic of the apartheid mining industry,” she says.

AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel applied on behalf of AfriForum to be admitted as a party.

He says AfriForum’s AfriBusiness division is particularly concerned that the constitutional right to property (of mineral rights holders before the new dispensation came into effect) needs defending.

He says that in their court papers the two actual parties in the constitutional court – Agri SA and Shabangu – have given entirely too little attention to the issue of the right to property.

Floris Pool, a landowner, says in his application to be admitted as a party that he has a massive interest in the outcome of the Constitutional Court proceedings.

His attorney, Daniël Ribbens, says if Pool is not permitted to join the case, he is more than likely to suffer massive, irreparable damage.

Mogoeng will give his decision on the three applications shortly.

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  • ike.jakson - 2012-10-07 15:49

    This is a disaster!

      nhlanhla.nyembe - 2012-10-07 16:17

      Why is it a disaster? Mineral rights belong to citizens of the country, not individuals.

      TSR01 - 2012-10-07 19:01

      nhlanhla.nyembe, but no citizens of the country will have mineral rights or access to the profits of the minerals, only the government (presently, the ANC), and they will keep the money for themselves. It is just another way of stealing from citizens and having lavish parties, building huge mansions (see Jacob Zuma's R203m+ home development plans) and taking what was NEVER theirs to steal from. If government steals the country's resources, how must businesses make money to EMPLOY citizens to WORK FOR SALARIES? People will lose their jobs, the economy will suffer heavily, and poverty will affect hundreds of thousands more in this country!!

  • merkwaardig.obskuur - 2012-10-07 16:03

    " The old system was characteristic of the apartheid mining industry". What is the situation in the US, or UK or Germany? Do landowners own mineral rights? Does this have anything whatsoever to do with apartheid?

  • - 2012-10-07 17:57

    If the country doesn't own its minerals, its land, its borders, its people etc, then what is a COUNTRY? How can that country charge rent for people exploiting mineral wealth? If you build a mansion, you can charge whatever hell of a rental you want because you built or inherited it from an ancestor who did. What work did you or your ancestors put in platinum deposits under your farm? Mineral wealth belong to us all. Period!

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-08 06:33

    isn't it just ridiculous what is done under the label of rectifying apartheid wrongs - communist dispossession of mineral rights, claimed by the state!!! Grand Scale THEFT!!!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-10-08 07:18

    The question is simply: do we want to be like america or would we prefer to be like zim? I think we are seeing that the answer is we would rather be like zim. Its the Komrad mentality which hadn't done anything but impoverish the people and fatten the elite politicians. Wake up people, you are getting screwed by the anc. You're either too blind to see or too dumb to understand.

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