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South Africa in crisis

South Africa in crisis

The South African Parliament has adopted a motion for a process to be started to amend Section 25 (the property rights clause) of the South African Constitution to allow for expropriation of property without compensation. This follows a recent policy conference of the ruling ANC, during which expropriation without compensation was adopted as ANC policy and during which Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to the position of president of the ANC. Ramaphosa, who has since been sworn in as President of South Africa, said that expropriating land owned by white farmers could turn South Africa into “the ultimate paradise” and the “Garden of Eden.” The newly-inaugurated Deputy President, David Mabuza, threatened white farmers with a “violent takeover”, should they not volunteer to hand over their property to black people.

The motion to amend the property rights clause in the Constitution to allow for state-driven expropriation without compensation was proposed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and supported by the ruling ANC. Both organisations describe themselves as Marxist-Leninists and have expressed support for the economic policies that have led to the collapse of Zimbabwe and Venezuela. According to EFF policy, the state must own all property. The ANC is driven by a project they describe as the “National Democratic Revolution”, according to which the movement must present itself to the world as promoting the values of freedom, while the state apparatus in South Africa should be utilised to transform South Africa into a socialist state.

While this is happening, the South African Government, under the leadership of the President, has embarked on a campaign to encourage the international community to keep investing in South Africa, and to invest in agriculture in particular. The civil rights movement AfriForum has expressed its concerns about the fact that the international community is being misled to invest in property which the South African Government intends to expropriate without compensation.

Also, in the last year, there has been a decisive increase in the frequency at which white farmers are particularly being attacked, tortured and murdered on South African farms. Despite this increase, the South African Government, the ANC and the EFF continue to publicly romanticise the murder of white farmers. The book Kill the Boer explains how the South African Government is complicit in the crisis of farm murders for a variety of reasons.

AfriForum has embarked on an international campaign to warn the international community, foreign investors in particular, about the situation in South Africa. The aim of this campaign is to encourage the international community to put pressure on the South African Government not to continue with its proposed policy of expropriation without compensation and to prioritise its reaction to farm murders.

Expropriation without compensation

“[A]lmost 400 years ago, a criminal by the name of Jan van Riebeeck landed in our native land and declared an already occupied land by the native population as a no-man’s land,” argued Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, as he introduced the motion in Parliament, which was supported by the ruling ANC. “Van Riebeeck, a first descendent of the Dutch to arrive in the Cape, would later lead a full blown colonial genocide, anti-black land dispossession criminal project, arguing that simply because our people could not produce title deeds, this land, that they have been living in for more than a thousand years, was not their own.” He continued: “The time for reconciliation is over; now is the time for justice.”

Other than the clear racist motivation that serves as a foundation to this motion, there are at least three major problems with the South African Government’s stance on land reform. The first is that it is based on a distorted perception of history. The second is that there is no real “hunger for land” – in fact, the vast majority of black people in South Africa have no interest in owning agricultural land. The third is that where Government has intervened with regard to landownership, it has had catastrophic results.

Farm murders

Kill the Boer is a book about the brutal reality of farm attacks in South Africa and how the South African Government is complicit in this crisis. It is argued that the South African Government should be regarded as complicit due to a variety of reasons, including its deprioritisation of the crisis despite the worsening thereof, negative stereotyping of white farmers in particular, romanticising of violence inflicted upon farmers, propagation of hatred from political platforms and the scorning and ridiculing of the victims of these attacks. The book reveals accounts of die direct involvement of members of the ruling ANC, the South African Government and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in particular, in the planning and execution of these attacks. It is argued that a looming process of ethnic cleansing should be regarded as a serious threat and should be prevented. The complicity of the South African media is also indicated by an analysis of news reports, which clearly indicates biased reporting, leading to vilification and negative stereotyping of white farmers in particular. A variety of reasons why farm attacks are unique and deserving to be treated as a priority crime are outlined. These include the unique frequency at which these attacks take place, the horrific levels of torture that often accompany these crimes, the role that farmers have to play in society and the unique circumstances that farmers are in.

(Pre-order the book Kill the Boer)


The South African civil rights organisation AfriForum has embarked on an internaional campaign against expropriation of property without compensation and farm murders in South Africa. You can help by contributing to our campaign.