Cape Town – The Freedom Front Plus has launched a plan of action - called Fight Back South Africa - to stop expropriation of land without compensation.
FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald announced the campaign on Monday at the party's office in Parliament, in reaction to the National Assembly's decision to allow the Constitutional Review Committee to start a process to look into amending the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.
Groenewald said the mere proposal was already a problem, given its impact on the economy, and if the Constitution was amended to allow expropriation without compensation, it would open the gate to the Zimbabwean path of famine and poverty.
Groenewald said it was "unacceptable and untrue" to say any land in South Africa had been stolen.
"The perception is created that anyone who owns land is a criminal that obtained land unfairly," he said.
He said the land question must be dealt with in a responsible manner. "Expropriation without compensation will make no one rich," he said.
The FF Plus' action plan has six legs: information sessions; meeting President Cyril Ramaphosa; an online petition; protest action; meeting with international bodies; and a trust fund to fund legal actions.
'We cannot trust the South African government'
The information sessions would encourage and coordinate public participation and include various organisations, chambers of commerce and agricultural associations, Groenewald said.
He said he had already written to Ramaphosa to request a meeting.
Groenewald said he thought Ramaphosa didn't really believe in expropriation without compensation, but was being held captive by his party's policy.
FF Plus MP Wouter Wessels said the party was convinced that when South Africans realised the implications of expropriation without compensation, the majority would oppose it.
"We cannot trust the South African government. It is the same government that allowed the Guptas to capture the state," he said.
They would bring the matter to the attention of the United Nations, the African Union, the European Parliament and governments.
FF Plus MP Anton Alberts said expropriation without compensation was in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international trade law.
He also warned that if it became law, South Africa would run into trouble with several trade treaties.
'Completely on the wrong side of the law'
FF Plus MP Corné Mulder said the world had become a small place, in the sense that no country could do what they wanted without the rest of the world taking note. "Internationally speaking, it is completely on the wrong side of the law," Mulder said.
Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads as follows: "Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property."
Concerning the name of their campaign - which is reminiscent of the Democratic Party's (precursor to the Democratic Alliance) Fight Back election slogan of 1999, which critics at the time said actually meant "Fight Blacks" - Groenewald said they included South Africa in the slogan as expropriation without compensation didn't only affect a certain group of South Africans. "It affects everybody in South Africa," he said.
"We say in politics there are many occasions where people have to stand up and fight back," he said. "It means you have to take a firm stance on this matter."