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Landgrabber Robert Mugabe; Landgrabber Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa: New ANC leader promises Zim-style landgrab

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa's ruling ANC, wants to seize land from white South Africans without compensation as part of an ANC policy of "radical economic transformation".

Published: December 24, 2017, 11:05 am

    Ramaphosa appealed to black ANC supporters on Thursday, saying that he aims to pursue a policy of “radical economic transformation” that will speed up expropriation of land without compensation.

    “This conference has resolved that the expropriation of land without compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform and redistribution,” he said in his maiden speech after his victory.

    A move by the South African government to take land without compensation from whites, is the same as in neighbouring Zimbabwe, which launched a seizure of white-owned commercial farms in 2000.

    Ramaphosa, a 65-year-old union leader who became one of South Africa’s richest people, is likely to become the country’s next president after elections in 2019, as the ANC racially dominates politics by virtue of numbers. The current embattled leader of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, could only remain as president if he does not resign.

    To placate investors, Ramaphosa has promised to “fight rampant corruption” but land seizures and bank nationalisations will result in an economic melt-down as in Zimbabwe.

    The ANC’s economic transformation subcommittee chairman‚ Enoch Godongwana, said ANC delegates at the elective conference eventually agreed to initiate some amendments to the constitution in order to achieve expropriation of land without compensation.

    “The condition is that it must be sustainable and not impact on food production and food security,” he said, but his comments made little sense as almost all white commercial farms produce food.

    Godongwana’s communist-speak was rather aimed at justifying land theft. Asked how the markets would react, Godongwana said: “My suspicion is they are going to say ‘wow’ and react badly … my sense is, if I was the markets, I would simply hold off.”

    Most of South Africa’s land has been transferred to black owners, but mainstream media outlets, including Reuters, continue to publish fake news about land “remaining in white hands 23 years after the end of white minority rule”.

    “Experts” maintain that the plan to expropriate land in South Africa will not signal the kind of often violent land grabs that took place in Zimbabwe, where white-owned farms were seized by the government for redistribution to landless blacks, but no media outlet could name even one “expert”.

    Leading economists and farming organisations have warned that the reform could hit investment and production hard.

    Around 8 million hectares of land have been transferred to black owners since apartheid ended. It does not include the land transferred to the former homelands now owned by tribal chiefs.

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