South Africa: Land - the People Speak - Limpopo Public Hearings End in Alleged Attack

(file photo).

The Constitutional Review Committee's public hearing on land expropriation in Thohoyandou turned volatile on Saturday after the DA Limpopo chairperson was allegedly attacked.

The conclusion of the public hearings into the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution in Limpopo, culminated in the alleged attack of the DA's Geoffrey Tshibvumo by four unknown men.

Tshibvumo explained that the attack followed a dispute during the hearings where EFF members accused a DA member of making oral submissions before the committee on more than one occasion, which is against the rules.

EFF leader Julius Malema had to speak to the crowd to calm them down.

"After going out [of the hall] someone started attacking me. Then they became four [and] started to kick me", Tshibvumo told News24.

He added that the attack was unprovoked and all he had done was protect himself.

Tshibvumo then started looking for his alleged attackers and pin pointed one man to police when members of the EFF intervened.

As tensions rose, police stood between the two groups trying to calm the situation.

Both groups eventually went their separate ways.

Throughout the hearings in Limpopo, tensions have been palpable. DA members, agricultural unions and white farmers were in the minority in the vote against amending the Constitution.

In all four towns that the committee sat in, including its last sitting in Thohoyandou, the overwhelming opinion was that Section 25 be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

One participant, who did not name himself, said once land expropriation takes place, the state should then become the full custodian of the land. "Then we can deal with the white arrogance," he said.

He added that once the land is in the state's hands it can be shared with the people, who will then also have their dignity returned to them.

Another man said that the only compensation farmers should be given is their mirrors, knives and spices, which is all they had when they took the land.

Race relations were also placed under the spotlight on Friday as people ventilated their reasons why land should be expropriated without compensation.

Winnie Makobo told the review committee that she supported amending Section 25, claiming white South Africans were not entitled to land because they were "foreigners".

Parliament's provincial tour will continue next week.

Source: News24

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