Morning clouds. Cool.
US President Donald Trump talks to journalists during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. (Michael Probst, AP)
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
The hair at the back of my hair stood up as I watched the
righteous Tucker Carlson on Fox News spew racist rubbish.
In the rant disguised as an "exclusive investigation on
land seizures beginning in South Africa," Carlson told several lies.
He boldly stated that President Cyril Ramaphosa is seizing
land from his own citizens because "they are the wrong skin colour". He
called Ramaphosa a racist and condemned former US president Barack Obama as a
coward for praising Ramaphosa's government as "inspirational".
He gave himself the mantle of being a voice
for white farmers under siege in their own country and asked why those
condemning US president Donald Trump as a racist are not condemning Ramaphosa'
government. Of course, the errant Trump was watching and decided it was
all worth his government's attention.
It reminded me of Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago's
words this week, when he was on the radio defending the independence of the
"The tragedy of South Africa's discourse right now is
that people do not allow the facts to get into the way of the story they want
He was referring to politicians but in the land debate,
civil organisations have entered the fray.
The Carlson rant on Fox was the culmination of a global
campaign by AfriForum and the likes who are against any form of
redress. They decided not to correct the false narrative that white
farmers are being specifically targeted because of their skin colour and that
the Constitution has been changed to seize white-owned farms. Hence, we
had the Australian government pledging to prioritise white South Africans
looking for asylum.
But Trump's Twitter intervention was not because he wants to
stop the alleged "human rights tragedy" unfolding in our country.
Rather, he needed a side show to shift the world's attention from his woes
after he was implicated by his former personal attorney in a hush money
scheme to protect him from harm during the presidential race.
The facts are, as painful as the process has been and despite
the heightened level of anxiety around land reform, nothing unconstitutional
has happened yet. The process to amend the Constitution has started in Parliament,
followed by public hearings and written submissions to allow the citizens of
this country to have a say.
Ramaphosa's recent announcement that the ANC will support
the amendment of the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without
compensation was opportunistic (as all politicians are), but it really was
nothing new. While made for political expediency ahead of the 2019
elections, his late-night statement was in fact fairly balanced – the party
wants the Constitution to be clearer on allowing expropriation and the conditions
under which it can happen.
The problem is, after the party's lekgotla and eight months
after the resolution on expropriation, we are still in the dark about how the
policy will be implemented and that is where the crux of the matter
The EFF, despite pushing strongly for land expropriation
without compensation, has failed to give its own concrete plan on how once all
the land is nationalised, it will be redistributed. Never mind how
government will implement this policy when it battles to account for
properties the state already owns.
The parties have no real action plans for people who have little
interest in the commercial farms that are feeding us, but are desperately
looking for houses closer to their place of work so that they can stop
spending most of their salaries on transport and instead invest in their
children's future to hopefully break the vicious cycle of poverty. Some just
want title deeds to their current homes so that they have security of tenure or
some collateral and an option to leave an inheritance for their families.
I have very little hope that after South Africans poured out
their pain of being landless in the country of their birth, while eking out a
living in the periphery while the haves (mostly white people) continue being
first class citizens, their dignity will be restored any time soon. Or
that the enduring spatial planning from apartheid will end.
It will not be because of the Constitution, even if it is
amended, but it will be because of a government with no institutional
capacity to implement whatever policy they decide on.
So, can we stop the fear mongering, racial rants and
political expediency currently playing out and start talking solutions? As for
America and its racists – can they please back off and allow us to deal with
our own problems?
- Mahlase is politics editor of News24.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
Disciplinary action certain for teachers refusing to teach Sex Ed says Minister.
Here are 5 perfect Christmas gifts to make any petrolhead smile.
A laid-back Skyp chat with Ed Stoppard.
If at all...
Here's what other celebs did with their rings after they called off engagements.
You can get flatter abs too!
See Zozi shine!
Maybe it's time to get Sober Curious.
MilnertonMotorelli Electric MotorsR14 000.00 - R16 000.00 Per Month
Cape TownHire ResolveR450 000.00 - R550 000.00 Per Year
Western CapeTSM Consulting
R 1 825 000
R 15 500 000
R 5 950 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.