Land Redistribution In South Africa A Very Thorny Issue That Won't Go Away

Just days after the ruling party in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) made Cyril Ramaphosa its new country President, the thorny issue of land redistribution is back on the cards.

The ANC elected President Ramaphosa as a country President after it removed Jacob Zuma from the position before his term ended. This came after eight unsuccessful votes of no confidence that were debated in parliament. Zuma survived all of them only to be recalled by his own party.

Just when he took over the reigns as the country President, Cyril Ramaphosa has assured all South Africans that he will do all in his power to make sure that the issue of land redistribution in South Africa becomes a thing of the past.

The Economic Freedom Fighters commonly known as the EFF has been pushing for land redistribution without compensation. Since its formation, it leader Julius Malema has called for the ANC to take the issue of land very seriously. He has on a number of occasions explained that without land it will be impossible for the ANC government to effect economic growth.

More than 80% of land in South Africa is believed to be in the ownership of white people who are refusing to allow government to use it for developmental purposes. Since the ANC came into power in 1994 it has failed to provide housing for those who are homeless. The party blames its failures on the fact that there is no sufficient land in its disposal that can be used to develop housing for the poor.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for all South Africans to remain calm as his party continues to develop policy which will ensure that the land is redistributed in a manner that does not cause economic instability.

President Cyril Ramaphosa On Land Redistribution In South Africa

"We must, given the history we have had, work with urgency to significantly and sustainably escalate the pace of land reform. If we do not do so, this problem that has stayed with us as a nation for hundreds of years will implode in our hands," Ramaphosa told parliament.

Australian Home Affairs Minister has joined the fray and extended invitation to white farmers who may want to relocated to Australia to start farming in that country.

Dutton was quoted in the Australian media as having said that his government was looking into methods that would facilitate the fast-tracking of visas for white South African farmers who want to relocate to that country.

Dutton told The Guardian that white South African farmers "deserve special attention" because of the "horrific circumstances" of land seizures and violence in the country.

South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu wasted no time and issued a diplomatic demarche or warning to Australian High Commissioner in SA Adam McCarthy. Sisulu demands that the comments made by their home affairs minister Peter Dutton, over the SA land redistribution process be retracted.

[Law Experts] Concourt Error On Nkandla Ruling

Law Experts Explain How Concourt Erred On Nkandla Ruling

In February 2015, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), which represents all attorneys and speaks nationally on behalf of the attorneys’ profession, convened a colloquium specifically to debate whether the public protector’s findings were legally binding.

On the panel were Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffrey, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, retired Concourt justice Zac Yacoob, deputy head of the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand Professor Mtende Mhango and the executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, Lawson Naidoo.

With the exception of Madonsela, all the speakers agreed that the remedial measures of the public protector were “not legally binding” on anyone.

Concourt's Error Explained

The judgment fails to provide guidance to government departments and Parliament on resolving disputes between the public protector and state officials who may have plenary authority over certain matters. Succinctly, the executive and National Assembly were faced with conflicting constitutional duties in Sections 182(1)(b) and 198 respectively.

The strenuous insistence that they could determine for themselves what items were security-related proceeds from their views of their plenary powers under Section 198.

The judgment is remarkably long on the constitutional basis for the powers of the public protector but very short on the constitutional powers of the executive and Parliament when it comes to matters of national security.

It omits entirely a mention of Section198(d) of the Constitution which unambiguously states that “national security is subject to the authority of Parliament and the national executive.”

Inexplicably, the Concourt discusses the specific constitutional obligation imposed on the president and National Assembly by section 182(1)(b) and (c) while ignoring the equally important constitutional duty to ensure national security under Section 198.

The Concourt stated that once Madonsela reported to the National Assembly its constitutional “obligation to take appropriate remedial action” can only mean compliance.
It concludes that when that report was received by the National Assembly, it effectively operationalised the House’s obligations in terms of sections 42(3) and 55(2) of the Constitution.

The Concourt paid scant attention to Section 198 under which Parliament has a superior constitutionally-derived and exclusive authority to determine for itself what are security features at the residence of the president.

Propagandists are free to simply view this approach as motivated by an unlawful desire to frustrate the public protector.

Throughout the world courts wroutinely rule against members of the executive and other branches of government but such rulings are not considered automatic impeachable offences mandating removal of public officials.

The moral of the story is that court judgments are limited to the cases being adjudicated upon and their implications must accordingly never be hijacked for political ends.


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South Africa's 2014 election results have started flowing in this morning. The Anc has emerged as a winner even though less than 50% votes have been counted.

Mamphela Ramphele's Agang does not appear anywhere in the results. Her titanic has sunk in deep seas. It is now clear that this self-claimed and renowned academic has got his mathematics all wrong. People of South Africa do not need to have degrees to discern wisely when it comes to elections.

Appearing on TV this morning, Mamphela Ramphele looked exhausted. When she was asked about her party performance she avoided the question but instead commented about hour poorly run elections were. She is certainly bitter.

The DA has also dropped from projections made by the so-called wise analysts. On the other hand the Anc's has gained more strength that the previous elections. It is already projected that it might score a two-third majority.