As South African government embarks on amending the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, President Cyril Ramaphosa believes that there are lessons to be learned from Zimbabwe.
Ramaphosa held bilateral talks with the southern African country’s president,Emerson Mnangagwa over the weekend and, in a media briefing that followed the discussion between the two leaders, he revealed that the issue of land was also in the agenda.
“We are going to be drawing some examples and lessons from Zimbabwe and a number of other countries,” Ramaphosa said.
The land debate has been all the talk this year after the ANC had resolved, in the party’s elective conference in December last year, that they would move to expropriate land without compensation.
The issue sprung into top gear after a motion to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, brought by the EFF, was passed as an overwhelming majority of members of parliament voted in favour of it.
Fears and concerns over what would follow in the aftermath have reached far and wide, with many fearing the country would follow the route that Zimbabwe took when it implemented its land reform policy under former president, Robert Mugabe in the late 90s.
Believing that results of land expropriation in South Africa will be similar to those in Zim, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton proposed fast-tracking visa applications for “persecuted” white farmers.
Unsurprisingly, his comments were met with outrage with SA’s International Relations Affairs Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu demanding that Dutton retract his “offensive” comments.
“It was communicated to the High Commissioner that the South African Government is offended by the statements which have been attributed to the Australian Home Affairs Minister and a full retraction is expected,” a statement from Sisulu’s office read.
While the ANC and the EFF have been largely in unison over the way forward on land reform, the Democratic Alliance have opposed expropriation without compensation. – The South African