South Africa: ANC fails to get rid of property rights, still plans to pass legislation to seize land
South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has said that the country will pass legislation to expropriate land without compensation, after spending several years attempting to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, in order to be able to pass legislation to expropriate land without compensation. The hitch in their plan is, the attempt to amend the constitution failed. They are still going ahead.
The Justice Minister of the Republic of South Africa has made a rather unexpected statement, after the ANC government in charge failed to succeed in creating a Constitutional amendment to South Africa's Bill of Rights to allow the government to expropriate without compensation: land, and with that land specifically being seen as land occupied or owned by: white South Africans generally, given that it has been presented as a sort of stolen land argument.
This isn't land which was seized during apartheid - which the government in fact compensated people for using the land claims court - but rather land in general. Often, land which people bought as innocent third parties, and have mortgaged based on the state system of land registration and ownership, which has long been part of South Africa's system.
The reason the Constitutional amendment did not pass is that the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters party of Mr. Julius Malema voted against the amendments - not because they opposed land expropriation but - because as a Marxist party they thought that it didn't go far enough. They wanted more land to be expropriated. They wanted the state to be the custodian of land in general. They wanted essentially to get rid of property rights while the African National Congress took a much less extreme position of simply wanting to have the right to take away property without compensating for whatever its fair market value would be.
The Democratic Alliance, despite some campaigns by some in media to get them to vote for the amendment in order to prevent the EFF's measure from going through, in fact did not vote with the ANC's way of doing things.
And the ANC decided not to go with what the EFF wanted, perhaps not to give them a victory when the ANC is finally below 50% at the polls for local government elections.
So, what was the statement after the shocking defeat in parliament - where they had to actually put forward a bill that they knew they'd not succeed in getting through because the EFF had abandoned it? Well, Justice Minister (in South Africa) Ronald Lamola, has made a statement that South Africa thought that that was just one means of doing it and that they're simply going to pass legislation to allow expropriation without compensation - which is quite odd, because the Constitutional process was to amend the Constitution in order to enable them to make legislation to do so.
What they'll do and whether courts which are obviously human institutions and not robots ... If courts allow what expropriations they do going into the future is uncertain. And it's uncertain what legislation they have plans to put through or whether they plan to put anything through at present, but the response to such a defeat seemed to be saying that the entire battle they were fighting was not necessary in the first place ... so why did they fight it for several years then?