The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently took the case of the unlawful eviction order against productive farmer Mr Ivan Cloete from the Colenso farm in Darling, to the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

Historically, the SAHRC has investigated and intervened in farm evictions and campaigned against forced removals.

However, in a surprise move, the SAHRC has refused to investigate Mr Cloete’s eviction.

DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Annette Steyn MP, stated the following

“The Democratic Alliance (DA) is appalled at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) refusal to investigate the eviction order against Mr Ivan Cloete, from the Colenso farm in Darling.

The SAHRC has actively campaigned against farm evictions and forced removals in the past – especially in the Western Cape – and the DA can only assume that the refusal to investigate this particular case comes from a political prejudice that ultimately undermines Mr Cloete’s rights.

The SAHRC has investigated and intervened in a number of farm evictions over the past few years. The Commission even called for a review on farm eviction laws in 2019 and called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to uphold a promise on a moratorium on farm evictions in 2018. Yet, it refuses to do right by Mr Cloete.

The only assumption that can be drawn is that the SAHRC has been politically captured and that Mr Cloete is being forsaken due to ANC cadres and MK veterans vying for his land and the fact that the DA has taken up his cause.

In its own words the SAHRC “is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour”. Well, the Commission is certainly showing fear of the ANC government and favour towards it by this hypocrisy.

The DA implores the SAHRC to remember its mandate and review its decision to investigate the eviction order against Mr Cloete, a farmer who is being asked to vacate his third farm. Such injustice cannot be allowed to stand, especially from a Commission whose purpose is protect rights.”

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