South Africa’s beef cattle farmers and land owners are suing a private company for $250 million for the right to use their land for grazing, the latest in a series of legal battles over the country’s vast cattle industry.
The suit filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by the South African Beef Industry Federation and its member companies claims that the company, Livestock Marketing Corporation Ltd, “unlawfully infringed” the grazing rights of the landholders of more than 20,000 hectares of cattle pasture and forest in the Eastern Cape Province, according to a statement from the association.
The group says Livestore has failed to pay royalties on grazing royalties on more than 1.5 million hectares of the country, according the statement.
The suit also accuses Livesto and the government of “deceptive and misleading” land use practices.
In January, a court ordered Livestome to pay the farmers $25 million for damages over their use of their land, which was “deemed to be in breach of the Land Act and/or the Wildlife Act.”
In April, the Supreme court ordered the company to pay $80 million to settle a case filed by a local farmers association over the grazing claims.
The court also ordered Livento to pay farmers in the Western Cape province $150,000 for using their land in the past and promised that it would pay another $20 million in future disputes.