White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament.
The country’s constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.
The motion was brought by Julius Malema, leader of the radical Marxist opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters. It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote , and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February. The radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema told the country’s parliament.
“The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice,” he said.
We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”
The main opposition party in South Africa, Democratic Alliance party (DA), opposed the motion arguing changes to the constitution will undermine property rights and scare off potential investors.
Thandeka Mbabama from the Democatic Alliance party said land expropriation should not be a part of the solution to write the wrongs of the past.
“By arguing for expropriation without compensation, the ANC has been gifted the perfect scapegoat to explain away its own failure,” she said in a statement.
A 2017 South African government audit found white people owned 72 per cent of farmland. After his inauguration , South African President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to speed up the transfer of land. The newly elected President stressed on the importance of preserving food production and security.
Rural affairs minister for the ruling African National Congress party said ‘The ANC unequivocally supports the principle of land expropriation without compensation’.
Parliament ordered its constitutional committee to report back on the issue by August 30.