Parliament’s Senior Legal Adviser Charmaine Van Der Merwe has cautioned against taking away the powers of the court when it comes to expropriation of land without compensation.
Van Der Merwe presented the various proposals that were made by different stakeholders during last week’s constitutional dialogue with the Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution.
During the talks, Cosatu said the courts should not be given the function to determine how much compensation should be granted when land is expropriated.
It wants that function to rest with the Office of the Valuer General.
Van Der Merwe, advising the Ad Hoc Committee, says, “The one thing that we must just be cautious about – and I did not get the impression from the persons who proposed this that they had in mind to totally oust the powers of the court – that is just the one thing that we must have in mind. We cannot oust the powers of the court to review or to consider on appeal. So, we can provide for a first body of instance as long as it can go to the courts. But other than that there is not something really that we can say in law about this. In the end, it is a policy decision whether it should be included or not.”