AN AFFIDAVIT by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti on the state’s intended purchase of the MalaMala Game Reserve makes it clear the purchase price will be negotiated with the owners based on figures presented to the Land Claims Court.Mr Nkwinti was reported to have already settled to pay the owners the full market price of R1bn, creating fears that the deal could set a benchmark, making future land restoration unaffordable. MalaMala is an upmarket game reserve in Mpumalanga.In the Land Claims Court last year, state valuer JJ Steyn put the land value of the 13,184ha at R30,000/ha (R395m), while a valuer called in by the owner put it at R72,000/ha (R949m).The Mhlanganisweni community asked the Constitutional Court for an order for the land to be returned to them, and for the minister to pay the game reserve owners R460m in compensation. The community has been trying for years to reclaim the land.The Land Claims Court ruled that restoration of the land to the com...

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