Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.
This case turns on the lawfulness of the grant to a company of a prospecting right on the land of another. This deceptively simple statement of the ultimate legal issue at stake, though true, hides more than it reveals. First, it explains little of the invasive nature of a prospecting right on the ordinary use and enjoyment of the property by its owners. Second, it says nothing about the profoundly unequal impact our legal history of control of and access to the richness and diversity of this country‘s mineral resources has had on the allocation and distribution of wealth and economic power. Lastly, it does little to illuminate the effect of past racial discrimination on the ownership of land. – Justice Froneman in Bengwenyama Minerals (Pty) Ltd and Others v Genorah Resources (Pty) LtdBACK TO TOP