22 March 2018

South Africa: Trainspotter - Landed Gentry - Can the DA's Polite Land Reform Programme Save the Party From Itself?

analysis

Think of it as the "They're gonna take your house! - but to fend them off, we'll start handing out title deeds" land reform pitch. At the very least, it's a strategy. By RICHARD POPLAK.

An inviolable piece of South African wisdom: read not the lay of the bones, political sangoma, but the multiple, tiny inferences embedded in a press release. By which I mean that one doesn't have to be Robert Langdon - Dan Brown's polyglot, painting-obsessed alpha-dork - to understand that when the Democratic Alliance calls a press conference at the Human Rights Room on Johannesburg's Constitution Hill, as it did on 12 March, the subject must be considered a Very Big Deal.

And since Kagiso Radaba has returned to the cricket pitch, is there is a bigger deal in South Africa than land reform?

Nope.

Despite the ostensible importance of the land spiel - and remember, this entire country is premised on a giant, 350-year-old topsoil scam - there has been so much posturing, misunderstanding, misinformation, stupidity, lassitude, scare-mongering and rabble-rousing since the beginning of the year that South Africans can be forgiven for thinking that Robert Mugabe is about to show up on a weaponised combine...

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