Land: The people speak - Oudtshoorn hearing opens old wounds of forced evictions

2018-08-01 21:05

Old wounds caused by forced removals were opened up at the Joint Constitutional Review Committee's hearing on the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape's Klein Karoo region.

"It was bitter when you got home in the evening and a bulldozer is sitting there next to your fence," a man told the committee on Wednesday.

"You know, it is bitter. The farmers are now saying they want to be paid. But what about us? We were set off without compensation. We didn't get anything."

Several other speakers also recalled how their homes were bulldozed or their families evicted from farms in the middle of the night.

A black woman said the issue of land was a painful one. 

"It opens old wounds that never healed," she said. "If we don't have land, our dignity is taken away."

"The Constitution must be amended, otherwise I see no future."

"I am so angry inside because still, we have no land."

A coloured man added: "I call on all white people to put them[selves] in the shoes of the historically disadvantaged people."

He told how his mother, the daughter of a white man in whose kitchen his grandmother worked as a maid, were evicted.

"We do not hate the white people, but we can no longer sit and observe and smile at the injustices," a black man said.

Another black man added that the white community's understanding of land was different from that of the black community.

"We believe everybody should have access to land," he said. "They believe a white family should have 200 hectares of land and we should share 10 hectares."

"They exploit the resources of the country. They don't care about the people of the country."

A white man said he had empathy with what he had heard at the hearing.

"But I am also a very practical person," he added.

"This whole thing has become very emotive."

He does not support the amendment of the Constitution.

"I've got the same aspirations as everybody else."

"The poor will become poorer," he said.

"Rich, poor, we're all in the same boat."

"I don’t think it is about people not wanting to share. The whole thing is not thought through."

Another white man told attendees that he believed the hearing was a good thing and that he saw a lot of anger "with a lot of issues in the air".

"It's going to be a hard choice for you to make," he told the committee.

"It comes down to identity. Our blood is in the land, so our identity is in the land."

"I apologise for the sins of my forefathers," he said. "I think everybody is gatvol."

On Thursday, a delegation of the committee is expected to head to Beaufort West, while another delegation is off to Citrusdal.

Read more on:    land expropriation  |  land hearings  |  land

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

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.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.