The government has chosen to appeal against a recent court judgment that it should live up to an agreement to sell a property to the black farmer who had worked it for close on three decades. In so doing it has sent a profoundly important message about the direction in which it is intent on driving land reform.

By all accounts, David Rakgase had made a success of his farming operation, and was — at least in theory — an exemplar of the future of SA agriculture. He wanted no more than what most farmers want and need: title to the land that has been intrinsic to his livelihood...

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