A fourth land commissioner resigns
11:31 (GMT+2), Fri, 01 September 2006
The third of the countr y's se ven
land claims commissioners is set to resign
The third of the countr y’s seven land claims commissioners is set to resign voluntarily. Northern Cape and Free State
commissioner Sugar Ramakarane has told chief land claims commissioner Tozi Gwanya of his intention to vacate his
post. The series of resignations comes as the 2008 deadline for the finalisation of land claims is fast approaching.
Ramakarane’s intended resignation follows those by North West commissioner Blessing Mphela earlier this year and
of Limpopo commissioner Mashile Mokono. Mokono has tendered his resignation to Gwanya and will leave the commission in February next year to join a law firm in Gauteng where he will complete his legal training.
A fourth land claims commissioner, Mpumalanga’s Nceba Nqana, was forced to resign last year after being found guilty on three relatively minor charges during a disciplinary hearing. He has since been replaced by former North West legal officer Peter Mhangwani. “Mr Ramakarane has told me about his intention to resign. I have not received any letter of resignation from
him. He is the best person to respond to where he will be going if he does resign,” Gwanya told Farmer’s Weekly. Ramakarane told Farmer’s Weekly: “The issue of my resignation is a personal matter. I am not being fired or forced to resign. My reasons would therefore be personal and private.” Sources close to Gwanya’s office say unbearable pressure is being exerted on regional land claims commissioners to finalise all outstanding claims before the cut-off date of 2008. Most of the “easy claims” have been dealt with. The remaining claims – almost all of them rural – account for about 80% of all the work that needs to be done due to their complexity. It is understood that some of the commissioners are buckling under the
pressure. Because they all work on a contract basis, and will only be employed until the process is completed, some are
now looking for more permanent jobs that will provide security. – Chris Louw