AfriForum challenge of Parly land expropriation report moot, court told

Lobby group AfriForum wants a declaratory order that the adoption of the Constitutional Review Committee’s report on land expropriation without compensation is unlawful and should be set aside.

FILE: The constitutional review committee on 15 November 2018 adopted its final report that recommends the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Parliament is facing another court challenge, this time on its land expropriation without compensation process.

Lobby group AfriForum wants a declaratory order that the adoption of the Constitutional Review Committee’s report on land expropriation without compensation is unlawful and should be set aside.

In 2018, the Western Cape High Court dismissed an earlier attempt by AfriForum to stall Parliament’s consideration of the report from its joint Constitutional Review Committee on amending Section 25 of the Constitution.

Wednesday’s case was a further hearing on the legality of a third-party service provider report used by the committee to reach its conclusion in final its adopted report.

AfriForum’s Advocate Ettiene Labuschagne told the court that thousands of submissions opposing the amendment were not considered by the service provider.

“And what we’re essentially saying is that the joint COC in adopting the report of 15 November failed to take into account that approximately 180,000 written submissions to that committee from the members of the public.”

But Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, representing Parliament, said the application was moot and the report had already been passed by both houses of Parliament.

“On 4 December, the report that we are dealing with today was adopted by the National Assembly. It is no longer a report of the joint committee, it is now a report of the National Assembly with any flaws that it contains.”

The court reserved judgment.

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