ANC, EFF stand-off sees Limpopo public hearing on expropriation of land cancelled

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Bongani Bongo.
Bongani Bongo.
Tebogo Letsie
  • A public hearing on expropriation of land without compensation collapsed in Polokwane on Sunday.
  • This, after members of the ANC and EFF stormed the hall, demanding they be allowed in first.
  • The public hearing had to be cancelled, which committee chair Bongani Bongo said was "very unfortunate".

The parliamentary ad hoc committee's public hearing on expropriation of land without compensation collapsed in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Sunday.

The event was scheduled to start at 11am, but was delayed after members of the ANC and EFF descended in large numbers and stormed the Jack Botes Hall.

This was in violation of the Covid-19 health protocols as the number of people in the hall was well above that prescribed by Covid-19 rules regarding indoor gatherings.

The hall was then cleared, but chaos reigned when EFF members again demanded entry in their numbers.

The event was shifted to 2pm, but the situation degenerated and fists almost flew as ANC and EFF regional leaders argued about who should be allowed into the hall first. The situation forced ad hoc committee chairperson Bongani Bongo to cancel the event.

Addressing the media, Bongo said the decision to cancel the event followed advice by security personnel and technical staff.

"I would wait for the report from the security and the technical staff. So far the meeting is cancelled until further notice," Bongo said.

He said members of the EFF had been arriving first in other regions where the public hearings were held in the province. Other hearings in the province were held in the regions of Vhembe, Mopani and Sekhukhune.

"This time they did not want to accept that the ANC arrived first. 

"I must state that the amendment of the legislation (section 25 of the Constitution) requires [a] two thirds majority, and none of the parties in Parliament has a two thirds majority.

"It is both the parties (ANC and EFF) who have resolutions on expropriation of land without compensation. I don't know where the glitches are," Bongo said.

He described the collapse of the public hearing as "very unfortunate". 

He made it clear that the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution may be difficult if found that public participation was flawed.

"Anything we do outside the law or seen that we did not follow the Constitution to the letter is going to be challenged in court," Bongo said. 

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