4 December 2018

South Africa: Land Expropriation - DA Vows to Go to Court If Parliament Adopts Report

Photo: South African Tourism/Flickr
(file photo).

The DA will go to court if the Joint Constitutional Review Committee's report, recommending that the Constitution be amended to allow expropriation without compensation, is adopted by both houses of Parliament.

The report will be considered by the National Assembly on Tuesday at 14:00, and by the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday at 10:00 after it was initially also scheduled for Tuesday.

"The DA has consulted with our lawyers and we understand the processes to follow. Should the ANC and EFF vote to adopt this flawed report in both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, the DA will not hesitate to approach the courts," said DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said.

On Friday, the Western Cape High Court dismissed AfriForum's urgent interdict application, which was aimed at preventing MPs from voting on the report.

Breytenbach said AfriForum's failed court bid wouldn't affect the DA's case.

"AfriForum failed in their court bid because they failed to allow Parliament to complete its processes. It is key that Parliament is given the scope to do its work," she said.

No chance of dismissal

She said there was no chance that the DA's case would be dismissed on the grounds that it was premature, as they would allow Parliament to conclude its work.

According to the DA, the CRC report has serious procedural flaws, specifically in relation to the public participation process which is mandated by sections 59, 72 and 118 of the Constitution.

"The written submissions report has not been finalised, yet the ANC and EFF approved the final report. This is proof that the process was merely a smokescreen for what was ultimately a predetermined outcome," Breytenbach said.

"The consequences of proceeding with this tarnished process will effectively silence thousands of people who participated in the process," she added.

"It is no surprise though, because both the EFF and the ANC have shown disdain and disregard for the Constitution on numerous occasions. However, the rest of the parties represented in Parliament have an opportunity to do what is right today.

"We, therefore, implore all parties to do the right thing and reject this report."

After the report was adopted by the CRC on November 15, CRC co-chairpersons Lewis Nzimande and Stan Maila insisted that their work was procedurally sound and would stand up to scrutiny.

Amending section 25 to allow for expropriation without compensation is supported by the ANC, EFF, UDM and NFP, while the DA, IFP, Cope, FF Plus and ACDP are opposed to it.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the DA "is completely committed to redressing the history of violent land dispossession in South Africa and we recognise the unjust legacy left by this dispossession".

"We view land reform as a social justice imperative which all South African must rally around," he said.

Source: News24

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