Another successful milestone towards Bafokeng Communities’ land claims

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On the 26th August 2010, the Mafikeng High Court declared a number of Communities forming the Bafokeng ‘tribe’ as ‘respondents’ to the Royal Bafokeng Nation’s application to have a number of farms registered and transferred in the latter’s name and favour.
The Communities, now respondents on the matter, are opposing the RBN’s application. The RBN’s main application is contained in an affidavit that is 3000 pages long. The RBN initially insisted that the Communities file their answering/opposing affidavits by October 2010. The Communities contested that filing by October 2010 would be practically impossible and that nine months would afford them a reasonable period for them to compile a comprehensive response.
 The Communities argues that the RBN had all the years to compile their long affidavit, that it would be an unfair expectation to get the poor Communities to compile their opposing affidavits in less than three months. The Communities argues further that the RBN are enjoying the extravagant use of the tribal funds to further their ‘unjust’ cause, while the Communities, albeit being the Bafokeng, and therefore the owners of the tribal funds, have not been afforded access to financial resources towards their litigation costs.
 In the end, the Court ordered, by agreement, that the Communities file their opposing affidavits within six months (that is by end of February 2011).

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