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The Supreme Court of Appeal has overturned a Land Claims Court judgment that effectively found that market value was not the most important consideration when determining compensation for properties identified for land expropriation. The judgment raised questions about the government’s land-restitution guidelines which take into account five other factors in determining compensation, rather than confining the process to market value. These include the use of a property, history of the acquisition target, market value, extent of direct state involvement and purpose of the acquisition. In the case between a landowner, who was seeking compensation for land claimed by Msindo Msiza, a labour tenant represented by the Legal Resources Centre and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the appeal court ruled that the residential development potential of the land was not a factor and should not determine the compensation for the land. The Land Claims Court had found that the com...

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