Image via twitter: SAIBPP
Image via twitter: SAIBPP
Oral submissions on the issue of land expropriation without compensation are being presented before the Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC).
Wednesday saw the second round of discussions being held in Parliament’s Old Assembly Chamber. While the first day of hearings were relatively tame and reserved, Wednesday’s discussions were disrupted by political antagonists.
Various stakeholders were invited to share their opinions on the matter of amending section 25 of the Constitution. The hearings are set to continue until Friday, 7 September.
Let’s take a look at the main talking points which dominated today’s discussions, presented by various parties present before the CRC, quotes courtesy of News24.
The South African agricultural industry association, AgriSA, has been vocal on the issue of reform – engaging with various stakeholders, including facilitating land discussions with the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Representing AgriSA alongside Dr Annelize Crosby, Christo van der Rheede said that the government had failed its current redistribution mandate.
Crosby argued that AgriSA was supportive of expropriation, but only if it included compensation, saying:
“We are talking about a fundamental human right. We’re not opposed to expropriation; we’re opposed to expropriation without compensation.
It is definitely the case that we are already seeing an economic effect due to the uncertainty.”
NAFU (National African Farmers’ Union), represented by Motsepe Matlala, touched on racial issues polarising the farming sector, adding that the Constitution should be reviewed to allow for nationalisation, saying:
“We consider the land priceless. The land should not be sold. We are calling for a farming Codesa for our country. Nationalising all land must include communal and traditional land.
Nobody can wish white people away. They are citizens of this country. We can’t say the white farmers must be wiped out [but] it should not be that our white compatriots continue to tell us what is good for us.”
Infamous political antagonists and radical race-baiters, Black First Land First (BLF), made its presence felt at the hearings. Andile Mngxitama refused to address those in attendance as “Honourable members”, but rather “Landless members”.
Mngxitama was fiercely argumentative in his address, maintaining that all land owned by white South Africans should be regarded as ‘stolen’, saying:
“BLF supports the call to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, so that all land in the hands of white people, or rather its return to the hands of black people, all that land which is currently in the hands of white people. And that includes land in Orania, land in Stellenbosch, all that land must be returned.
All land, all of it, unused, used, productive, unproductive belongs to black people. Orania and other white people have no right to this land. And you must return it.”
— Jan Gerber (@gerbjan) September 5, 2018
Following his address, Mngxitama disrupted proceedings and stormed out of the venue with his entourage. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member, Floyd Shivambu addressed the committee in response to BLF’s disruptive behaviour, saying:
“The foolishness must be dealt with.”
This angered Mngxitama and his clique who were on their way out of the venue. The BLF fired the last shot back at Shivambu, saying:
“So Shivambu, you are defending Orania now?”
The all-white Afrikaner enclave of Orania, in the Northern Cape, was represented by the movement’s president, Carel Boshoff.
The extreme juxtaposition between BLF and the Orania Movement was hard to ignore, yet in direct contrast to Mngxitama’s provocative and verbose demeanour, Boshoff remained soft-spoken and cordial.
Boshoff argued that the issue of land expropriation without compensation extends further than property, and into the realm of culture and language, saying:
“When Afrikaners hear about land confiscation, it reminds us of what we have been experiencing in terms of the expropriation of cultural spaces, of schools, of our language in education and in the public sector.”
When Shivambu questioned Boshoff on the disparity regarding white-minority ownership, the Orania president responded:
“I would refrain from the kind of simple mathematics into which this leads, because land is not just land, if you move from the east of South Africa to the west of South Africa, you see very, very different climate areas, etc, etc.
South Africa is ideallly a community of communties, in which recognition is a key part.”
The Afrikanerbond can be described as an organisation which ‘acts in the interest of Afrikaners who are committed to South Africa and want to positively contribute to the creation of a successful South Africa, which provides opportunities for all South Africans.’
Afrikanerbond chairperson, Jaco Schoeman, addressed the CRC, pleading with the powers that be not to amend the constitution as a means of gaining votes at next year’s elections, saying:
“Our take on the Constitution differs slightly to that of the Honourable Shivambu… The Constitution does not enshrine any inequality.
It is not the message that we want to convey, therefore we stand with the Constitution, we support the Constitution, and we support the principles that land reform must be addressed in the manner that the Constitution is prescribing.
Section 25 is comprehensive, and there is nothing in Section 25 that prohibits this process to be concluded. I am not of the conviction or the opinion that Section 25 is the problem.
Do the right thing: land reform and property rights should not be placed on the altar before an election.”