South African lawmakers have agreed to pass a law to reclaim land taken away from Africans by white settlers without paying compensation, according to a motion passed in Parliament on Tuesday.The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of Julius Malema tabled the contentious motion which the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and smaller opposition parties supported by an overwhelming vote in the House.
Now the constitution does not allow for expropriation without compensation, so a constitutional reform committee has been tasked with considering the matter and will bring it before parliament again by the end of August.
Min Nkwinti insists on a materialist historical approach, & says "land was not stolen, but it was taken through brutal wars of colonial conquest", citing the resistance by the Khoi (Khoesan) against Jan van Riebeeck, who submitted a 1660 report to reflect this.
However, left-wing and black nationalist factions have long pushed for the state to intervene - forcefully, if necessary - to achieve a more equitable distribution of land. "[But] idling parts of the farm. should be reallocated to someone else who will use it for production". All land will belong to the state.
"The ownership patterns are going to be affected by the fact that now government owns land, no one will be arrogant on the bases of ownership of land", he said. The country's constitution will now likely be amended to include the expropriation of land.
"It is not an issue that will cause a nightmare". He also said that a more appropriate mechanism was a constitutional review, rather than an ad hoc committee. It was passed by an overwhelming majority of 241 votes in favour versus 83 votes against the proposal.
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The motion was not supported by the DA, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the ACDP.
But the DA argued against it.
Malema's remarks are a toned down version of what the EFF has advocated for.
"We know that landlessness is the basis for the racism our people suffer, the basis of poverty our people suffer, the basis of our humiliation".