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South Africa saw its most destructive riots in years this past July, ostensibly in response to former President Jacob Zuma's imprisonment and due to socio-economic factors. The Constitutional Court's sentencing of Zuma was widely hailed as a victory for the Rule of Law, but the commentariat in many cases remains blissfully unaware of its diagnostic blindspots.
Who controls the land and minerals in the former Bantustans of South Africa - chiefs, the state or landholders? Disputes are taking place around the ownership of resources, decisions about their exploitation and who should benefit. With respect to all of these issues, the courts have become increasingly important.
The applicant in Jacobs v Department of Land Affairs had been deprived of land through a racist fraudulent transfer of the land in 1907 and subsequent eviction in 1921.