SAFDA must come clean after frivolous lawsuit dismissed with costs

Issued by Annette Steyn MP – DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
13 May 2021 in News

The DA welcomes the judgment that was handed down by the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court in which it dismissed, with costs, the frivolous lawsuit that was brought by South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA) against me and the DA. 

SAFDA had approached the court to request that it issues an order to censure me from exercising my oversight responsibilities as a Member of Parliament. SAFDA had also petitioned the court to have me retract a media statement in which I had sought clarification on a R158 million grant that it had received from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD). 

In its judgment, the court made it clear that SAFDA failed to provide sufficient facts to show that the court had jurisdiction over the relief sought. In fact, SAFDA’s claim that my position as a Member of Parliament gives the court jurisdiction over the conduct of my oversight responsibilities was found to be ‘without any persuasive authority’. 

The court refused to be drawn into questioning the oversight responsibilities of a sitting Member of Parliament. I would be neglecting my duty as an MP if I fail to ask questions about how taxpayers’ money is being spent. Elected public representatives should never be threatened or prevented from doing their jobs.

No one accused SAFDA of any wrongdoing. They just need to come clean and account about how they spend taxpayers’ money that they received from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. 

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