The EFF has accused the ANC of not being interested in passing the amendment of the section 25 of the Constitution, saying the ANC pretends otherwise to the South Africa public.
The ANC failed to get the Land Expropriation Without Compensation Bill passed into a law after it was rejected by the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The ANC tabled the bill but various political parties voted against it for different reasons. The EFF and ATM felt it did not go far enough in its provisions, while the DA and other parties felt it was unnecessary and would destroy the economy.
The bill was intended to provide some clarity on land expropriation and how it would be enforced without infringing on the right to equality and being in line with section 25 of the Constitution (right to expropriation).But the bill failed to obtain the support of the majority when 204 parliamentarians voted for it while 145 voted against it. It needed 267 votes to pass into law.
The EFF, which initiated the bill in 2018 but voted against it, said the current version was watered down and was not serious about transferring land to black people
EFF leader Julius Malema said when the EFF introduced the motion of land expropriation without compensation in 2018, it was clear about what needed to be done to correct the abnormalities in landholding created by colonialists and apartheid influence.
He argued that the bill in its current iteration was not good enough:We wanted the state to be the sole owner of the land and the ANC rejected it.
He said the EFF was not going to support the proposed amendment because it was taking the country backwards. “The ANC still wants to compensate for the land,” he said.
Former ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga reminded all South Africans that the principal object of establishing the ad hoc committee to amend section 25 of the Constitution was to eradicate the “original sin” in the best interests of all South Africans, not a certain a section thereof.
He argued that it was important for South Africa and the world to be reminded of the nature of this original sin to aid its understanding of this inhumane crime against humanity.
“As African people, we were violently dispossessed of the land and it natural resources by the Dutch and British settlers. The Dutch settlers who occupied the Cape believed in land expropriation and used Africans as their cheap labour. The British settlers who occupied the Cape in the 18th century abolished slavery and introduced liberal policies, which denied the Dutch settlers slave labour and limited their access to African men to cheap labour,” said Motshekga.
He said the amendment bill sought to address this crime against African majority:Those who are voting against the bill are the beneficiary of this crime against humanity and have the support of coalition of some Africans who do not know the history of this country.
He said those who are not supporting the bill are hoping that, through unholy coalitions in 2024, they will gain power and do what they like.
“We are not worried about those who are not supporting the bill, but we are confident that with or without them the ANC is going to make the land available to people. Because without making the land available to the people, our challenges of unemployment and inequality will continue,” he said.
Motshekga said those who voted against the bill are saying the suffering of African people, and black people in particular, should continue.
In arguing against the amendment of the bill, DA MP Annelie Lotriet said it was ironic that as the country is celebrating the 25th year of the adoption of the Constitution, Parliament is still debating the amendment to the Constitution that will have dire consequences for this country.
“Is it necessary to amend section 25? Does it comply with the values enshrined in the Constitution?” she asked. She argued that section 25 being substituted with a vague amendment was not in line with the Constitution.
“Custodianship is included to win the support of people in rallies for populists. We must have a respect for property rights, which is in line with human rights. This will create uncertainty with property rights and will have adverse effect on investment. This is not what the country needs,” she said.