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In a landmark ruling, the Namibian Supreme Court delivered a verdict on a contentious land acquisition case, overturning parts of a High Court judgement. 
 
The case involved the transfer of shares and a lease agreement for Farm Eengezind No. 97, located in the District of Okahandja, between a Namibian and a foreign investor.

The case centred on the acquisition of shares in Weissdorn, a company that owns Farm Eengezind No. 97 in the Okahandja District. 

The court ruled that the transfer of shares to foreigners, including the appointment of directors, was a scheme to bypass Namibian land ownership laws.

The case involved George Wohlfart, a Namibian, who appealed against the transfer of shares in a company that owned farmland to Michelle Bergh and Willem Klemp, both foreigners.

On appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court's decision, ruling that the transfer of shares and the lease agreement were illegal. 

The Supreme Court ordered the immediate cessation of farming operations on the land and the removal of all livestock belonging to Bergh and Klemp.

However, the Court also ruled that the management agreement pertaining to the farm was valid, but only in respect of Wohlfart and another individual, Michelle Bergh.

The Supreme Court suggested that further legal proceedings might be necessary to conclusively determine the validity of their directorship appointments.

Justice Theo Frank, in his judgement, emphasised that the transactions were in contravention of the Agricultural Commercial Land Reform Act. 

The Supreme Court's decision emphasises the complexities and legal intricacies involved in land transactions, particularly those involving foreign investors and local shareholders. 

The ruling could be seen as a clear message against illegal land acquisition schemes in Namibia.

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Daniel Nadunya