Constitutional Review Committee concerned about fake SMS about land expropriation

2018-05-11 18:16
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Parliament's Constitutional Review Committee is gravely concerned about an SMS doing the rounds which it describes as "fear-mongering" and an attempt to distort the committee's work on the possible amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.

The committee became aware of the Afrikaans SMS in which it is alleged that the management of an agriculture union in Muldersdrift told people at a recent meeting that the intention of the review of Section 25 of the Constitution was to expropriate everything they owned. 

It included "vehicles, loose items, weapons, money in the bank and naturally, your pension". The SMS likened the process to Zimbabwe where, they claim, citizens were given a short period to move off the land, the committee said in a statement.

Co-chairperson of the committee Vincent Smith warned South Africans about the fake news. 

"This is definitely not the intention of Parliament. The current mandate by the National Assembly is merely to review Section 25 of the Constitution and other sections where necessary, to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest and to propose the necessary constitutional amendments, where applicable," he said. 

ALSO READ: Public gets more time to comment as land committee swamped with submissions

Lewis Nzimande, the second co-chairperson of the committee, called on all South Africans to desist from trying to detract from the work of the committee.

"If this SMS is indeed legitimate, then we are extremely concerned by the message sections of the agriculture sector is sending out. We do not want to take any persons’ personal items, like vehicles or money. That is not the purpose of this process.” 

He said the committee would consider all submissions.  

On Thursday, the committee met to adopt its programme and decided to extend the deadline for written submissions to June 15 after several organisations asked for an extension. 

The committee also resolved to conduct public hearings from June 26 to August 6 in all provinces. Provinces which have large rural areas will have four days set aside for the hearings, while others will have three.

Details on how to submit a written submission can be found on Parliament's website here.

Read more on:    land expropriation

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