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Friday Mar 16, 2012

Conduct of property ex-owners examined in Constantia land claim

The conduct of the former owners of a sought-after Constantia property has been brought to the fore in a legal bid for restitution of the land.

A local family once owned Sillery Farm, but they claim they were forced to sell it to Jacob Badenhorst in 1963 as a result of the Group Areas Act.

The Sadiens are claiming it through the Land Claims Court.

In the final day of testimony yesterday, the Sadiens' legal team grilled witness Frans Bothma, former MD of Power Developments, also at one time a shareholder of the company that owns the property.

The farm was originally owned by Dout Sadien, who bought it in 1902. His five sons bought it from his estate in 1958, but sold it to Badenhorst just five years later. More recently, Sillery Farm was registered to the Badenhorst family's company Yamiv (Pty) Ltd but it was later sold to another company, Jazz Spirit 12 (Pty) Ltd, in 2002, making it the current owner. Jazz Spirit is owned by three family trusts, one of them being the Badenhorsts'.

Advocate Joel Krige put it to Bothma that when Yamiv sold the property to Jazz Spirit, the impression on the title deed was that the Badenhorsts had relinquished ownership. But they had kept back seven of the property's 26 plots. This, said Krige, amounted to "hiding the acquisition of these plots".

Bothma rejected that there was an attempt to hide the deal.

Acting Judge Mokotedi Mpshe postponed the case to May 2 for final arguments.

Cape Times


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