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Butterworth developer to go appeal

Posted On Friday, 16 February 2001 03:01 Published by
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EAST LONDON -- Property developer Luvuyo Dutywa yesterday instructed his attorneys to take his legal battle with the Eastern Cape government to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

EAST LONDON -- Property developer Luvuyo Dutywa yesterday instructed his attorneys to take his legal battle with the Eastern Cape government to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Dutywa also indicated he would seek an audience with President Thabo Mbeki to expose what he claims
has been "a slap in the face not only of commercial development, but also of black empowerment in
the province".
This follows an unsuccessful bid in the Bisho High Court earlier this week to force Local
Government MEC Gugile Nkwinti to hand over documents pertaining to an aborted land deal in
Butterworth.
Judge Colin White had previously ruled that Dutywa had a right to see the documents and ordered
Nkwinti to hand them over.
However, Nkwinti's office maintained that the documents had gone missing and that a thorough search
had failed to locate them.
"A development of over R50 million is rejected out of hand by the executive committee in Bisho due
to untold bungling and a lack of sensitivity to the needs of Butterworth's unemployed community,"
Dutywa said.
Local Government spokesman Litha Twaku rejected this, saying Nkwinti remained committed to orderly
deve-lopment which would benefit all communities.
"All development applications will be processed in terms of the legislative prescriptions and
administrative procedures," he said.
At the heart of the dispute is an attempt by Dutywa to lease a piece of land adjacent to the
Butterworth High School for the development of a shopping centre.
The school, which is situated in the CBD, holds the title deed to the pro-perty and is eager to
sell.
However, the deal became stalled after intervention from the provincial departments of education
and local government, as well of the Office of the Premier.
It is alleged by the provincial government that, despite the existence of a title deed, the land in
question is a commonage and was transferred by former Land Affairs Minister Derek Hanekom to the
then MEC for Local Government, Max Mamase, in 1997.
The documents which Dutywa requested from Nkwinti, and which the Bisho High Court ruled he had a
right to see, relate to this alleged transfer.
"The government's failure to produce the documents which would back up their claims proves that it
is a lie," Dutywa said. "This land belongs to the school; it is definitely not a commonage."
Previously, during an interpellation in the provincial legislature, Premier Makhenkesi Stofile
said the government was "very keen" on development in this region.
However, he insisted that the issue of the ownership of the land had not been satisfactory resolved
and that the lease agreement could not proceed until there was clarity as to whom the land belonged
to.
The development proposed by Dutywa would bring direct investment of at least R50m to the
impoverished Butterworth community, as well as large-scale job creation in an area estimated to
have a 70 percent unemployment rate.
The Office of the Premier has declined to comment.


Publisher: Dispatch
Source: Tanya Jonker
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