There is no truth to current reports that South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has abandoned its policy of seizing white farms without compensation after US President Donald Trump’s tweet on the topic, and those rumors are based on a complete misunderstanding of the parliamentary process.
The rumors that the land seizure program had been scrapped started after the ANC tweeted a statement dealing with the withdrawal of a 2016 bill dealing with “land reform” which had never come into force.
This bill—which has nothing to do with the current expropriation moves—was passed by the South African Parliament in 2016, but returned by former President Jacob Zuma in 2017, “due to concerns arising from the public participation process followed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP),” as the ANC tweet said.
The ANC statement also pointed out, the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works “withdrew the Bill due to the parliamentary process of reviewing Section 25 of the Constitution which is currently underway.”
This is a reference to the February 2018 instruction by the South African parliament to its Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) to review Section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation, and to propose constitutional amendments where necessary.
“In light of the process currently underway, the Expropriation Bill in its current form has therefore been withdrawn for further reconsideration upon the conclusion of the CRC process,” the ANC statement explained.
In other words, the withdrawal of the 2016 bill has nothing to do with the current moves, and was only withdrawn because it is going to be superseded by the more far-reaching laws and constitutional amendment being planned.
The ANC tweet then went on to state that it “reiterate[s] our commitment to pursue the expropriation of land without compensation.”
This policy will, the ANC tweet added, “ensure[s] that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.”
WITHDRAWAL OF EXPROPRIATION BILL FOR FURTHER RECONSIDERATION pic.twitter.com/liFnvJlioG
— ANC Parliament (@ANCParliament) August 28, 2018
The UK’s Express newspaper was one of many who completely misunderstood the ANC’s tweet, and published a headline claiming that “South Africa farm SEIZURE: Land reform plans SCRAPPED after Trump and May scrutiny.”
There is no truth to these and similar reports, as detailed above. The Express’s reference to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s “scrutiny” is even worse that a “mistake” and is an outright lie. In fact, May expressed support for “land reform in South Africa” and said that it has to be legal, transparent, [and] generated through a democratic process.”
This hardly constitutes “scrutiny,” but is standard fare from the ignorant controlled media.
* Meanwhile, the President of the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), one of the larger farmer unions representing white farmers, has expressed its pleasure about Trump’s tweet.
“TAU believes that its long-time international campaign to bring farm murders to the world’s attention, has begun to produce results, and is therefore pleased about the announcement made by American president, Donald Trump to investigate the possible expropriation of land without compensation as well as the farm murders,” a TAU statement issued by its president Louis Menitjies said.
“TAU SA had been overseas several times with regards to these issues and will do it again if and when the opportunity arises. We have used several occasions in South Africa trying to motivate the government to prioritize the investigation to farm murders and to safeguard the farmers. We spelled out the dangers and identified problems that these actions will hold for the country’s economy where more than 95% of former productive land became unproductive already.
“On top of that if the Government would continue to prioritize political above economy actions, the risk always remains that South Africa can be withdrawn from the AGOA agreement, which may impose extremely negative consequences for the economy.
“The government does not want to listen to our motives, therefore we welcome any foreign support in these matters, and we distance ourselves from any insulting statements made against President Trump,” the statement concluded.