South Africa: Parliament - Historic Land Expropriation Agreement Reached Amid South Africa's Changing Politics

Photo: Agenda
South African Constitution (file photo).

The EFF on Tuesday scored a backhanded political victory when the ANC supported its call for a constitutional amendment for land expropriation without compensation, even as the governing party's amendments effectively watered down the original opposition motion. The historic moment happened on the 40th anniversary of the death of Robert Sobukwe, the founding president of the Pan Africanist Congress, whose motto remains "Izwe lethu (the land is ours)". The PAC was absent from the House.

If a week in politics is a long time, then a year is an eternity. And the changing political weather wane was clearly visible with regards to land expropriation without compensation.

On Tuesday the EFF-sponsored motion for a constitutional amendment to make possible land expropriation without compensation, as amended by the ANC, was carried with 241 votes in favour and 83 against. A year ago almost to the day, a similar motion was rejected 261 against, and just 33 in favour.

Then in 2017 the ANC maintained it could not support changes to Section 25 of the Constitution, dubbed the property clause, because of respect for the Constitution, and the long-standing ANC practice of not having anyone else tell it what to...

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