New partnership investigates liquidation of farmer

To stop the extensive liquidation of farmers by the Landbank, agricultural businesses and commercial banks, Saai entered into a partnership agreement with AfriForum, Adv. Gerrie Nel’s Private Prosecution Unit, and the forensic investigators André Pretorius and Dekker Naudé of Farm Rescue. They will investigate and expose specific cases of alleged wrongdoings and abuse of liquidation processes.

This follows after Saai established a special investigation fund during its representative day last week. Several businesses and farmers have already contributed generously to the fund.

Hundreds of farmers across South Africa have been liquidated under suspicious circumstances over the past few months for debts that amount to only a fraction of the value of their farms, crops, chattels and estates. Similar stories are told everywhere about how shocking especially the Landbank’s agents behave on farms, how estates and the livelihoods of hundreds of families on farms are looted and destroyed, and how irregular legal process are followed. This calls for an independent investigation.

The partnership aims to compile a comprehensive report on the abuse of liquidation processes. This will result in criminal complaints and disciplinary actions by professional bodies such as the Legal Practice Council.

Saai recommends that financial services institutions and banks contact them about farmers and families who may have been victims of the abuse of liquidation procedures so Saai can help manage the damage and risks. Saai also collects information on farmers and families who have lost everything in the process or are in danger of being liquidated.

The Landbank has not yet responded to Saai’s invitation to cooperate with the investigation team. According to the Chairperson of the Landbank’s board, Thabi Nkosi, the bank investigated complaints and found no irregularities.

Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai, said they assembled the most formidable team of investigators available in the country. The team has already identified irregularities that will be investigated for possible prosecution.

Dr Theo de Jager, Executive Board Chairperson of Saai, invited farmers to send all information on the issue to https://skakel.saai.org/landbank-storie.

He also invited farmers, friends of farmers and businesses to contribute to the Saai Investigation Fund at https://saai.org/donasies/.