THIS WILL END WELL – South Africa goes full Zimbabwe. Never go full Zimbabwe.
South Africa’s parliament has voted in favour of a motion that will begin the process of amending the country’s Constitution to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation.
The motion was brought by Julius Malema, leader of the radical Marxist opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters, and passed overwhelmingly by 241 votes to 83 against. The only parties who did not support the motion were the Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the African Christian Democratic Party.
It was amended but supported by the ruling African National Congress and new president Cyril Ramaphosa, who made land expropriation a key pillar of his policy platform after taking over from ousted PM Jacob Zuma earlier this month.
“The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice,” Mr Malema was quoted by News24 as telling parliament. “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”
ANC deputy chief whip Dorries Eunice Dlakude said the party “recognises that the current policy instruments, including the willing-buyer willing-seller policy and other provisions of Section 25 of the Constitution may be hindering effective land reform”.
ANC rural affairs minister Gugile Nkwinti added, “The ANC unequivocally supports the principle of land expropriation without compensation. There is no doubt about it, land shall be expropriated without compensation.”
As I noted recently, a similar motion was voted down by the ANC last year. But times they are a’changing in South Africa and they are not changing for good. While some parts of Africa are slowly moving forward in terms of economic growth and social progress, reversing the desolation of the post-independence dictatorship, mismanagement and corruption, countries like South Africa, and indeed Zimbabwe, seem to be moving backwards. There is no doubt that the system of apartheid was evil; the broader problem is that in most of the Africa for most of the recent history, Africa’s own elites were doing to their people what South Africa’s white elites were doing to their black population, and then some – without the rest of the world, weighed down, as it was, by the post-colonial guilt, giving an ounce of shit about it, instead concentrating their whole arsenal of opprobrium on the apartheid regime. This is a very politically incorrect thing to say but it doesn’t make it any less true. Herein lies the tragedy of this beautiful and bountiful continent. The tragedy of South Africa specifically, post-apartheid and post-Mandela, is that its black elites are now very keen to catch up on all the malfeasance their ideological brothers had practiced over the second half of the last century elsewhere throughout Africa.