Land Claims Court's mandate has been diverted - Ngcukaitobi

2019-04-03 06:01
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Section 25 of the Constitution is not the problem when it comes to the question of land expropriation without compensation. A lack of political will is, according to advocate and author Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Tshisimani centre for activist education on Tuesday evening in Mowbray, Cape Town, Ngcukaitobi provided his analysis of the election manifestos of three political parties: The ANC, EFF and PAC - and what they say on the land debate.

READ: 'ANC stumbled into land expropriation debate' - Ngcukaitobi

He had some harsh words for the ruling party, which he said had failed to make reality the texts of both the Freedom Charter and the Constitution on the issue of land.

Ngcukaitobi began by saying that problems with the redistribution of land did not lie with implementation, but rather the structures in place.

"There needs to be political will. There is no need for constitutional amendments, and I told MPs as much," said Ngcukaitobi.

"The ANC [is] using the Constitution as scapegoat. To amend Section 25 is constitutionally unnecessary," he added.

'Diverted mandate'

Ngcukaitobi, who often acts as a judge in the Land Claims Court says the mandate of this particular court has been diverted.

The court was one of the most important of the newly established courts under Nelson Mandela's government, he said.

"Its mandate was clear: Create a court to deal with farm workers' issues, the question of land distribution and labour tenants. Instead, the court is dealing with farm evictions.

"The court has even moved from having five judges to having acting judges - of which I am part."

'Original sin'

Ngcukaitobi said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) failed to take into account the "original sin", which was the "occupation of land by people who came from Europe".

He stressed that the TRC should have tackled the issue of land and the current occupants, and that the redistribution of land should have started in the late 1990s already.

Ngcukaitobi finished off by saying that, should there be a realisation of land expropriation without compensation, citizens needed to ask: Who gets to stand first in line?

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Read more on:    tembeka ngcukaitobi  |  cape town  |  judiciary  |  land  |  land expropriation

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