Friday, April 25, 2014

Line Fish Review Application: An Update

The Western Cape High Court granted an order on 24 April 2014 allowing South Africa's traditional line fishermen to fish until such time as the court finally decides the review application which was brought by the SA Commercial Line Fishers Association on behalf of its members who were summarily dispossessed of their fishing rights on 30 December 2013. 

The review application will in all probability be heard by the High Court in July or August. A timetable needs to be agreed between the legal teams representing the line fishers and the Minister. However, the Minister and Mr Desmond Stevens (who was the acting DDG responsible for the decision to exclude  335 of the 450 traditional line fishers) continues to refuse to make available the full record that underpins the FRAP 2013 decision-making process.  

The court order granted on 24 April 2014 was effectively taken by agreement between the parties as the Minister and Stevens had failed to file any answering papers (even though they initially indicated that they would oppose the relief we sought in terms of Part A of the review application). 

It is worth noting that the Masifundise Development Trust has made application to the same Court to be  allowed to be part of the review application as an "intervening party". This application to be allowed to be an intervening party will be argued on 12 June 2014. 

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