‘Fred Daniel not the only one robbed of his dream’

'Fred Daniel not the only one robbed of his dream'
Author of Predator Politics Rehana Rossouw. PICTURE BY Alon Skuy

She compiled the work to “revisit” old scandals as South Africa moves on to newer and bigger ones.

Author of Predator Politics, Rehana Rossouw, says eco-tourism businessman Fred Daniel was not the only one whose dream was stolen when the area imploded due to the pressure brought about by political corruption, but also those of the many poor people in the Badplaas area whose dream it was to “own and conserve land”.

She was speaking about her book on eNCA’s The Bookshelf late Sunday morning.

Predator Politics hit the bookshelves in late October 2020.

“This is one of the biggest scandals in South Africa.

“The theft of people’s dreams to own and conserve land and also the land claimants whose dreams have been stolen,” she said.

Rossouw said there are lots and lots of black people in the Badplaas and Barberton areas who were robbed of land by corrupt officials.

ALSO SEE: Rehana Rossouw releases Predator Politics

She said the book was timed to coincide with Daniel’s court case at the Tshwane High Court where Daniel sues the Mpumalanga government R1.2 billion for loss of profits while politicians allegedly sabotaged his Nkomazi Wilderness project in the Badplaas area.

But now the matter has been postponed indefinitely, as government’s legal team is currently not ready for it.

Daniel built the Nkomazi Game Reserve and Cradle of Life eco-tourism nature reserves.

'Fred Daniel not the only one robbed of his dream'
Fred Daniel. 013NEWS/MLM

Daniel’s story starts in 1998 when he was introduced to the Badplaas and Barberton areas by Jimmy Kieth.

The child of a South African mine-owner, Daniel had travelled the whole of the Southern African sub-continent beginning the early 1990s looking for land that he could buy and turn into an eco-tourism destination.

He bought 89 farmland in the Badplaas and Barberton areas and turned them into a safari lodge, called Nkomazi Wilderness. 

The multi-million game reserve project was going to see property mogul Sol Kezner investing millions of rand for the construction of the game lodge – including one of South Africa’s most luxurious and expensive hotels.

But the whole project couldn’t materialise as envisioned when politics began kicking in against Daniel, refusing him permits and the instigation of land claims on pieces of land he had just bought.

Daniel sues for “loss of corporate opportunities” as well as “loss of profit, loss of land values, loss of prospective profits, damages to the property and investments” and prejudice to his good name and reputation.

He argues that “such losses, damages and prejudice could reasonably have, and should have, been avoided had the various defendants at all relevant times acted lawfully and without exerting duress” on him.

Rossouw said Predator Politics is not necessarily new information but a compilation of information already published.

She says Predator Politics “revisits” one of South Africa’s “biggest scandals” as we “move to the newer and bigger scandals”.

“This is one of the biggest scandals in South Africa. Thousands of poor black people whose land was taken away from them by corrupt officials,” she said.

(edited by MLM)

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