ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule has outlined the brutality of white rule in South Africa and called on citizens to unite behind the ANC and its efforts to expropriate land without compensation to address poverty and inequality.
Magashule was speaking in Sebokeng on the 34th anniversary of the 1984 Vaal uprising and said expropriation without compensation was necessary to introduce “radical socio-economic transformation” and address the legacies of colonialism and apartheid.
“The only way of achieving the objectives for the building of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society is to ensure that we expropriate the land without compensation and therefore empowering the majority of our people, the black people in general and the Africans in particular, into the ownership of the commanding heights of our economy,” read his prepared speech.
“Our people need land to better their own living conditions.”
Magashule, quoted by TimesLive, said, “We have been building their [white people] roads‚ their houses‚ working their farms. It’s time for a black person now to own land and farm.”
The ANC secretary-general called on South Africans to unite and support land reform efforts. He criticised those opposed to expropriation without compensation.
“We therefore make an appeal to the international community and especially the President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump, to respect the territorial independence and integrity of our nation state and therefore give the people of our country the opportunity to resolve their own problems in line with the concrete realities of our own situation,” he said.
Two weeks ago Trump tweeted that he had asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study “farm seizures and expropriations and the large -scale killing of farmers” in South Africa, drawing widespread criticism.
“We are appalled by the determination of those forces opposed to the transformation of our country, to undermine our collective effort to resolve the socio-economic contradictions imposed on our people by centuries of apartheid colonial domination,” said Magashule.
The debate over land expropriation without compensation will continue in Parliament this week as the joint constitutional review committee on amending Section 25 of the Constitution will hear presentations from experts and interest groups from Tuesday to Friday, September 4-7 2108.
The committee will hear 30 oral submissions emanating from more than 700,000 written submissions on the issue. The selected organisations or individuals were chosen after they indicated they wanted to make oral submissions.
“This is a broad spectrum of participants and is indicative of the interest across the board in the subject matter,” said committee co-chairperson Lewis Nzimande. The programme includes academics, agricultural associations, religious groups, civil society and financial-sector representatives.
The oral hearings in Parliament come after the committee travelled the country to hear citizens’ views. They are likely to see vastly different opinions raised; on Wednesday, Black First Land First will be followed by the Orania Movement and the Afrikanerbond.
The EFF and ANC agreed in Parliament to establish the committee on amending Section 25 of the Constitution, but the parties differ on how expropriation of land without compensation should be implemented.
The EFF wants all land to be nationalised while ANC has attempted to quell concerns about land grabs and focused on using expropriation to accelerate the current system of land reform to increase black ownership of land.
“As a matter of necessity, our people deserve security of tenure. That can only come through property title deeds and land ownership,” said Magashule on Monday.
His speech focused largely on the struggle against apartheid and the brutal attempts to suppress it — 142 people died and thousands were arrested in the months of the Vaal uprising. He also called on ANC members to help the party win an “overwhelming majority” in the 2019 elections.
“The ANC is the only formidable organisation with the capacity to transform the living conditions of the people of our country. The ANC remained “the leader of the future struggle of our people”, said Magashule. DM