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MIcheal Rhodes
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'We will take back our land'

20 January 2014, 20:16

This article, no this plea goes out to the EFF and its supporters:

As stated in one of my earlier I don’t have a university degree, so excuse the ignorance I may display henceforth in my article. I am after all just a layman and an uneducated ANC supporter.

EFF or as much I would hope that all people can share equally in our land, I am afraid you have the wrong end of the stick. You advocacy, based on a communist doctrine is both disingenuous and void of all intellect. For my latter statement apologies would be in order, but I cannot find better words that would suffice in telling you how wrong you are. Yes, you are wrong, you are wrong for the following reasons:

The Right to property:

You are advocating an arbitrary “land grab” system. Your leader, to wit Mr Malema even went as far as to say that this land grabs would be without compensation and the last 20 years of not “grabbing” any land should be seen as some kind of compensation.

Devils advocating: You win the coming elections. Your party is duly elected into parliament. Your Mr. Malema is sworn in, where he promises to uphold the ideals of the constitution. Problem number one; during his tenure at the helm of the ANCYL and now as president of the EFF, he strongly advocates: “We will take back our land.” (sic) Why is that a problem you may wonder; the answer to which would be simple: Our constitution, to wit the one he would have to promise to uphold entrenches your right to property. You may not be arbitrarily deprived of same.

In Section 25(1) of the Constitution, the following is provided:

(1)          No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property

You also spoke of expropriation of land without compensation, this too might be somewhat of a problem for government, as in Section 25(2), our constitution provides that:

(2)          Property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application

a.            for a public purpose or in the public interest; and

b.            subject to compensation, the amount of which and the time and manner of payment of which have either been agreed to by those affected or decided or approved by a court.

The aforementioned would render your proposal unconstitutional. It would also mean that you will need a two thirds majority, even with that you will need to pass constitutional scrutiny to amend the constitution. The way I see it, your Mr Malema is advocating one of the following things:

·        You have  realistic chance of gaining a two thirds majority and will pass said constitutional scrutiny as may be required to amend the provisions mentioned herein supra;

·        You will arbitrary amend the constitution as it suits you;

·        You will disregard the constitution in order to obtain your goals, to wit “economic freedom” (the latter definition I have difficulty to understand;

My good Sirs of the EFF, I have gone to hell and back in my thoughts to understand how you propose to achieve your goal in a democratic country. You do wish to keep South Africa democratic, don’t you? If so, would you be so kind as to state how this specific goal of yours can ever be achieved, whilst bearing our constitution in mind. One of my first contentions in this article is that I am a layman, so please help me to understand.

You have taken your land, what now?

You have won the elections. My questions supra are answered. You have taken the land? What now? To me, there are one or two concerns:

·        To whom will the said land be transferred to?  Dear Sirs, who will be the recipient of the said land? Blacks? In rural Western Cape for instance, the majority of farm dwellers are coloured, will they for the purpose of this land be seen as black? Will we transfer “blacks” from other provinces to the Western Cape in order for them to take over the said land? Have you ever considered how impractical the implementation of you are advocating seems to be like.

·        How will this land be divided equally amongst all South Africans? Most Eff members I spoke to, cite the Freedom Charter as the source of their belief that this land ought to be taken. The Freedom Charter say something to the effect that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. If I’m not mistaken it goes further to state that we all should benefit from the land. If that is the premise of your argument, your idea might be noble, to that I will concede. The latter however is a far cry from what you are proposing.

You are merely saying that you will take the land and you will not compensate the farmers for same. You fail to say how this land will be divided equally amongst the South Africans. Will it be just EFF members or all blacks that will get a portion of the land? You see Sirs, this is beyond my grasp. Please help me to understand same.

Notwithstanding the above and notwithstanding the constitution, there are other considerations you seem to be bleak on, to wit:

·        How will you ensure that the farms will remain economically viable? Please note, that in my question I am not saying that people can’t make a success of the farms because they are black. Afford me the courtesy of articulating my said question: You give a farm to some people, taking into account how many people lives in South Africa, I deduce that not all people would be living on the said farm. Some will work on it, but all will benefit from it.

This is reminiscence of early communist ideology, the same ideology which failed due to the following question: Why must I work on the farm, whilst my brother who is not working will share equally in the profit thereof? Kindly in your answer to this article, please also make reference to this question.

·        When the farm is taken, in whose name will the title deed be? I stand to be corrected, but in all transfers of immovable property the law requires there to be inter alia a title deed. Will it be in government’s name? Will you hand pick the members who will be on the title deed and if so, what is to prohibit said members to ask a question as in the paragraph above? If it is in government’s name, how will the land belong to the people, to all the people of South Africa?

·        What will happen to the occupant of the said farm? How will you justify taking a farm on which a person has been working for 20 years and giving it to someone who has not been working there a day in his life? I live in Paarl in the Western Cape. My uncle is a union representative for farms. I travelled with him to a lot of farms in the Western Cape and some in the Eastern Cape. I have met people who worked on farms for as long as 30 years.

I can tell you now that they love that land. They wake up early in the mornings with tired old bodies, get paid a little money, but they do it for the love of that land. How will you explain to them why someone else is more entitled to receive rights to the said land than them?

·        Lastly; there will be conflict. First from farmers, who I believe won’t still and let you take their farms. They will take up arms and they will fight for it. I believe they will be justified in doing so. How will you prohibit that? The people living on the farms will stand up as well and they will fight. What will you do? Will you send in the military? The constitution also prohibits the use of the SANDF against the people of South Africa. Kindly explain your plans.

My solution to the land issue:

Instead of going to a farm and taking someone’s land; why not work with the farmer for the good of the community. This can be attained by merely subsidizing farmers into releasing part of their land to enable those who work on it, to take ownership of same and to work it, under the supervision of the particular farmer, or their own profit. In this way, the specific piece of land is shared amongst the people and it is done in a manner which will not alienate the farmer, but will benefit his employees. It is true that land ownership is unequal, but so are many things.

Farming however something totally different than most things is, you have to love the land to make it work. It is not child’s play. I worked on an apricot farm in the Karoo one season and I know its hard work. I don’t think farmers will be opposed to my idea. I must however confess, I am lazy to write any further maybe I will indulge you with full particulars of my said idea in another article. (sorry)

So, in summation of my article I would like to state: Im an ANC member, but I do see the failures in the ANC and in our meetings I voice those concerns. Me criticizing my party does not mean I don’t still love it. I hope you as members of the EFF can have the political maturity to do the same.

I hope you too can see that this proposal is not for the good of the country. I hope you can encourage your comrades to see it as well. If not, I hope you have a counter argument to my concerns in my article.

Thank you

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