The government has denied offering to sell an elderly black Limpopo farmer the land he has been leasing from it for nearly three decades and has responded to his court action to force it to make good on its alleged promises. It opted to offer him another 30-year lease instead. While the department of land reform & rural development admits that the head of the Limpopo department of agriculture offered to sell David Rakgase the farm he had been leasing from the state since the late 1990s, it says the head “was not authorised to do so”. In fact, the department insists that none of the government bodies that signed off on Rakgase buying the land had the authority to make such offers, or agree to them. Rakgase, a 77-year-old widower, farms cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and game in Northam, Limpopo, on the 3,079ha Nooitgedacht farm he has been working for the past 27 years. He claims the government offered to sell him the farm, which was a training ground for young black emerging farme...

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