Zuma must clarify land reform
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma should urgently clarify the government's position on land expropriation, the DA said on Sunday.
"It is not sufficient for President Jacob Zuma to simply state that land grabs are not ANC policy," Democratic Alliance spokesperson Athol Trollip said in a statement.
He said Zuma should come forward as a matter of urgency and denounce the radical policies espoused by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
Zuma should also clarify the steps his administration would take to address the failure of its land reform and rural development policies.
Trollip said the DA was reacting to reports of the illegal occupation of a farm between Qwaqwa and Harrismith, in the Free State, last week.
Malema gave them permission
He said the farm was occupied by a group which alleged that Malema had given it permission to claim the land for itself.
At an ANCYL conference in Johannesburg last month, Malema warned ANC leaders that they must either follow ANCYL policies - which include land grabs - or face removal from office.
Malema has, in the past, accused whites of stealing land.
Trollip said that when the owners of the farm phoned the police for help they were told to apply for an eviction order.
He said a member of the group now occupying the farm had owned the land, but that it was sold after he failed to repay a loan from the Land Bank.
"The DA regards it as imperative that an effective land reform programme is implemented in our country."
However, the policies should be based on South African law and constitutional provisions that govern property ownership, said Trollip.
"Should the willing buyer, willing seller model be abandoned, the impact on food security and our economy as a whole would be devastating."
Trollip said he would write to Zuma and Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti to ascertain when the Land Reform Green Paper would be released.
He would also call on Zuma to publicly put an end to the "dangerous speculation" regarding land reform.