The lawyer for the District Six land claimants Nicki van’t Riet says the High Court in the Western Cape has taken a strong stand against the use of tax-payers’ money for personal litigations.

This comes after another failed bid by former Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to be exempted from a personal cost order in the judgment against her in the matter involving the land claimants.

Following Monday’s court judgement, the Legal Practice Council and the National Head of the Legal State Attorney’s Office are investigating Nkoana-Mashabane and her lawyers for possible misconduct.

Van Riet says the court ruling has set a precedent for the rest of South Africa,

She says, “The courts are taking a stand against abuse of the tax-payers’ money being utilised to fund personal litigation, so it sets a precedent nationwide that it is not acceptable at all to be using these tax-payers’ moneys.”

 R1.4 billion allocated for redevelopment of District Six

In February, the Rural Development and Land Reform Department said it has allocated around R1.4 billion over the next three years for the redevelopment of District Six in Cape Town.

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Thoko Didiza submitted a Conceptual Development Framework plan for the area in the Land Claims Court in December last year.

A ceremony was held on Saturday at the Castle of Good Hope to mark the 54th anniversary of the District Six evictions by the apartheid regime.

The Department’s Director-General, Mdu Shabane, says the plan will also create jobs.

He says: “That plan was so detailed, it was consulted amongst all the stakeholders, including the claimants and they were very happy with it. In terms of that plan, we are projecting to spend about R1.4 billion over the next three years for the redevelopment of District Six.”

District Six Museum

Meanwhile, the District Six Museum celebrated its 25th year of existence last year December.

The museum was established during the “Hands Off District Six” activist campaign of 1989 and officially opened in 1994 for its first exhibition.

Museum Director Bonita Bennett says the museum holds firm to most of the core values on which it was founded.

“That whole connection with community, it’s a connection with Human Rights; it’s a connection with the land, it’s a connection with just celebrating culture and I can say over 25 years obviously the context has changed, but we still can say this part of our life,” Bennett says.