As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
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