Bush-Level Bureaucrats in South African Land Restitution
Zenker, Olaf – 2018
This chapter aims for such a focused investigation of daily processes within the state bureaucracy working on South African land restitution. It discusses this paradoxical situation, in which state officials somehow have to deal with 'customary law' in order to implement state law regarding land restitution. The chapter demonstrates that the development of restitution law in courts has led to increasingly ambiguous and conflicting policy goals also for the implementation of the officially unaffected restitution law. It is concerned with a number of overlapping land claims related to a total of 17 neighbouring farms, including the so-called 'Kafferskraal' farm, which are situated on the edge of the highveld escarpment approximately 200 kilometres to the northeast of Pretoria. When apartheid came to end and land restitution was put into practice in the mid-1990s, numerous individuals and groups from Ndebele, but Pedi and Tswana backgrounds lodged separate and often overlapping claims for land in and beyond the Mahlungulu area.