Newswire : South African President endorses transfer of land from Whites to Blacks

Cyril Ramaphosajpg

Cyril Ramaphosa

March 5, 2018 (GIN) – Barely a month into his presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa has taken sides on a hot button issue whose resolution had eluded previous leaders. He vowed to speed up the seizure of land from white owners and turn the properties over to blacks.

“This original sin that was committed when our country was colonized must be resolved in a way that will take South Africa forward,” he declared.

The resolution calling for expropriation without compensation was introduced by the self-described radical and militant Economic Freedom Front, and passed 241 votes in agreement, and 83 votes against.

Sinawo Thambo, provincial chairperson of the group’s Student Command in the Western Cape, exuberantly described the vote in an article titled “Land Expropriation a Victory for Africa.”

“Land dispossession in South Africa, although marred by barbaric violence, was also a legislated policy,” he wrote. “The oppression of exploitation of the black majority was rationalized under a parliamentary and judicial framework. This means it is engrained in history and in policy that perpetuates the dire conditions the black majority exists in in this country.

“Central to the (newly-passed) resolution is the agreement not to compensate when expropriating land,” he continued, because “it is unreasonable to expect compensation for land theft and the criminal process of colonialism. It would be justifying the rational of dispossession as an acceptable fact and rewarding theft. It simply should not be done and the debates in Parliament expressed that succinctly.”

Other measures proposed by the new president were announced in his State of the Nation address.

Among the initiatives planned to jumpstart the economy are: a jobs summit, an investment conference, and compulsory local procurement in major economic sectors with a focus on youth empowerment.

His stand on land reform was cautious and measured: “We are determined that expropriation without compensation be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.

”Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution,” he told the Assembly.

Ramaphosa rejected the torrent of criticisms appearing in national and international media. There will be “no smash-and-grab of land in our country”, he responded. “That we will not allow. There is no need for anyone to panic and beat the drums of war,” adding that the “issue would be solved without any problems”.

Everyone will have an opportunity, regardless of their race, birthplace or the wealth of their parents, he said, and repeated it in Afrikaans.

A South African leader insists ‘We are not for sale’

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President

Mar. 28, 2016 (GIN) – South Africans are rising up against the outsized influence of corporate entities and wealthy individuals allegedly doling out contracts and jobs within the ANC.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, at a recent event, rebutted the charge, declaring the ANC was not for sale and anyone who wanted to capture the state should “go next door.” Speaking to about 1,500 professionals and academics at the ANC event in Sandton last week, Ramaphosa declared: “Those who want to capture the ANC and influence it to advance personal or corporate interests, you have come to the wrong address. Try next door. We will not be captured.”
A South Asian family close to the president who allegedly peddled jobs within the government was not the only one exploiting their connections, he added. “There are a number of others as well, and we are saying to all and sundry, stop in your tracks, we will not allow that.”
But questions continue to be raised including at a seminar last week hosted by the Association of Public Administration and Management. Political influence by corporate entities and wealthy individuals is “at pornographic levels,” said businessman and policy analyst FM Lucky Mathebula. “That is why we hear calls of the removal of the president and regime change.”
Political analyst professor at the University of Pretoria, Tinyiko Maluleka, said state capture was “insidious,” and became entrenched over time. “The idea that two or three people capture the state in one day is useless,” said Maluleka.
Former African National Congress Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola said the problem was not just corruption.
“This is about democracy where unelected people are able to influence the decision to appoint ministers… “This is kleptocracy,” he added, “where a few elites are able to control and direct the state, a serious subversion of democracy.”
Last week the group Equal Education released a statement calling state capture by the rich and powerful “a mortal threat to democracy” and pledged to join a “week of outrage” with other movement groups. “When our democratic state is put into the top pocket of a few rich people” then “the working class and the unemployed, the poor and the historically looted – the black majority – are attacked and further looted”.
Meanwhile, President Zuma’s daughter, Thuthukile Zuma, a recent graduate in anthropology, has been awarded a high profile tender as a supplier to a prominent local company involved in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Just prior to this, Thuthukile was the chief of staff in the Dept of Telecommunications and Postal Services.
At 27, she is the youngest of President Zuma’s four daughters with his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.