March 8 2013 at 01:43pm
Attorney IghsaanSadien points out the Constantia land the Land Claims Court awarded his family. The family lost the Sillery Farm property. Picture: JEFFREY ABRAHAMS
Cape Town – The Land Claims Commission has 98 claims yet to process in Constantia after finalising its 38th claim in the area with the Sadien family, who were forced out 50 years ago when the area was reserved for whites by apartheid decree.
The family was awarded an 8.9-hectare, state-owned property, partly bordering Brommersvlei Road and Rathfelder Avenue in Constantia, by the Land Claims Court last month.
Attorney IghsaanSadien is a member of the family and helped lodge the case.
The family owned Sillery Farm until they were forced to sell it in 1963 under the Group Areas Act.
VuyaniNkasayi, regional spokesman for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, said that of 156 claims lodged with the department, 20 had been rejected for failing to meet the criteria.
Nkasayi said most of the outstanding claims related to land that had been developed, and the claimants would be provided with alternative land.
The land awarded to the Sadien family is being used by SA Riding for the Disabled (Sarda), which is renting it from the Department of Public Works.
Sarda provides free riding classes to 200 pupils from 14 special needs schools in Cape Town.
Nkasayi said Sarda had not been kept out of the loop as the department wanted to focus on the legal process.
Nkasayi said now that the court case had been completed the future of those using the land would be discussed.
Sarda spokeswoman Donnaveen Howe said the organisation had been using the property for more than 30 years.
According to the city, the land is valued at R53 million.
The Constantia Property Owners Association is to discuss the issue next week, but executive committee member Yvonne Leibman said it had been following the case and supported the Sadien claim.
DoutSadien bought Sillery Farm in 1902 and farmed the land.
His five sons bought the property from his estate in 1958 for about R22 000, but the family was forced to sell the farm under the Group Areas Act.