The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has told the Constitutional Court that it never disregarded any court orders when processing claims of Labour Tenants.

This relates to the department’s failure to process the applications of land tenants, as well as not implementing the Land Claims Court order to appoint a Special facilitator to assist the department in processing claims.

The Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) wants the Constitutional Court to order the department to appoint a special master.

Advocate Hamilton Manetja says the department admits to not processing claims in a timeous manner, but that they are working on improving their speed.

“There is no evidence of a disregard of court orders; there is evidence of failures to comply with court orders timeously. But other than the very first failure, the others are not over a long duration and they have been explained. And the land claims court have the explanations from the respondents. So we submit that this is a serious matter and it required the intervention of the land claims court but it didn’t justify the breach of the principles that govern the allocation of powers of various branches of government,” adds Manetja.