By Andile Mngxitama
The post-African National Congress (ANC) lekgotla statement by Cyril Ramaphosa is a distortion of the land expropriation without compensation process. Ramaphosa is playing political football with a matter of life and death.
First of all, the impression created that the public hearings on land expropriation are about constitutional democracy is a blatant lie. The hearings are a mere road show by parliamentarians to delay amending the Constitution. The hearings have no bearing on the amendment process. As a matter of fact, once a Bill is drafted, further public hearings will be called in terms of the Constitutional requirements. Therefore the current public hearings are a fraud meant to delay the return of land.
Secondly, Black First Land First (BLF) wishes to alert the nation to a deliberate distortion by Ramaphosa that the Constitution as it stands allows for land expropriation without compensation. That’s a lie. As recent as last September, the Appeals Court clarified that a market based compensation must be paid every time land has been expropriated. We ask the nation to merely Google the “Msiza” case. Ramaphosa is either woefully lying or he is misled by the whites who advice him.
The third distortion is based on the false promise that the Constitution will be amended to be “explicit” about under which conditions should land be expropriated without compensation. There will be no amendments to the Constitution before the 2019 elections. This promise therefore is an electioneering ploy. It is based on trying to rob the voters of their votes through an empty promise.
Lastly, the Ramaphosa ANC has already clarified more than explicitly which land would be subjected to expropriation without compensation (if land expropriation was ever to happen). The post-Nasrec final land resolution is an explicit subversion of the call to return land. The resolution says land to be expropriated without compensation must be: vacant land, unused and state land. This is an insult! Therefore, when Ramaphosa talks about the conditions under which land expropriation without compensation can happen, he means land that is not wanted by whites. In this anti-black view, he is in sync with Julius Malema who also believes blacks must be given unproductive land.
The idea that land expropriation without compensation applies to certain land and not all the land in South Africa is a deliberate distortion aimed at protecting white land owners from the expropriation process. It is a known scientific fact that South Africa is a semi arid country; only 20% of the land is highly productive. This 20% of highly productive land is under intense cultivation and is responsible for 80% of the agricultural produce that comes to the market. Therefore, the proposal by Ramaphosa and Malema will leave the agricultural sector in white hands as blacks will be forced into inferior land.
Ramaphosa is fond of equating giving land to blacks to a threat to the agricultural sector. This is an anti-black distortion of the truth. The South African agricultural sector is the most infective and wasteful sector with minuscule economic benefits. The sector contributes less than 3% to the GDP and has shrunk employment in agriculture. Furthermore, it is a sector which practices slave wages and environmental assault through high use of chemicals to extract profits. In the frenzy to extract profits the sector is systematically poisoning the nation with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
Ramaphosa must stop misleading the nation and answer a very simple question: will there be the amendment of the Constitution before the 2019 elections? If he can’t answer this question then it proves our claim that the whole land expropriation without compensation process was actually only started to get votes, not to give land to blacks.
Black First Land First (BLF) firmly believes the whole land expropriation without compensation process is a political fraud to get votes of the landless and poor with no intention of giving land to the poor. Up to now, BLF’s skepticism has proven correct.
Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First