DA calls on Ramaphosa to release SIU reports on land reform corruption cases

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The Democratic Alliance has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately release final investigation reports by the Special Investigations Unit related to several land reform corruption cases.

This follows reports that a high-ranking African National Congress official in the Eastern Cape allegedly gave a friend a state farm as a gift.

The party says the previous farmer was suddenly told he was occupying the land illegally. It says it is another indication of how corruption and patronage are impeding land reform.

The Democratic Alliance lists four cases where farmers are either having problems renewing leases or are driven out and replaced with people who have either no farming experience or are politically connected.

In a statement, DA spokesperson on Agriculture, Annette Steyn, calls for a transparent database to be established where relevant information regarding the leasing of land should be easily accessible by members of the public.

She adds that successful farmers should be given title deeds and not be forced to reapply for a new lease every few years.

A report by the Special Investigating Unit uncovered last year recommended that 42 people including government officials be prosecuted for fraud and corruption linked to land reform programmes.