Elderly Limpopo cattle farmer David Rakgase has won a precedent-setting court victory that will have seismic consequences for black farmers who have for decades been refused the right to buy state land they have lived and worked on.

But, as the 79-year-old stands in front of a vast tract of land that will soon belong to him, if the state chooses not to appeal against the ruling handed down by the high court in Pretoria earlier in September, the enormity of that victory remains eclipsed by what he has lost.

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