DA accuses ANC of pandering to EFF over land issue
THE DA has accused the ANC of making concessions to the EFF to secure the required two-thirds majority to amend the Constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.
“This is not only reckless but is also revealing because it shows that they are using the land issue to score political points at the expense of the nation’s economic stability,” DA MP Annelie Lotriet said.
She made the statement after the ad hoc committee tasked with amending the Constitution decided yesterday to ask Parliament to extend its lifespan before it headed into recess next week.
The committee had asked parties last Friday to engage in bilateral engagements in order to reach consensus on the bill that was considered yesterday.
EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu said the bilateral engagements had not produced consensus on how to handle section 25 of the Constitution.
“We don’t have a foundational agreement yet in terms of what it should look like, so let’s request Parliament to extend this process and have further deliberations,” Shivambu said.
He said that the ANC and EFF were discussing the issue of land custodianship, the cut-off deadline for land claims and what word to use out of “nil” or “no” compensation.
“We are pleading for the committee to consider that we postpone this process until we find each other,” he said. “There is scope to find each other on all those questions.”
The chairperson of the ad hoc committee, Mathole Motshekga, agreed that there were areas the EFF and ANC wanted to engage in.
However, he said the committee would consider the views of other parties so that there was consensus among all parties.
The Freedom Front Plus’s Corné Mulder said they had difficulty with the EFF and ANC proposals and amendments, which were not consulted on before the meeting.
ANC MP Mina Lesoma said that in principle they supported the extension of the committee’s lifespan, and that as they moved along they would try to accommodate everybody’s views.
“We don’t want to come with halfbaked products, but to ensure there is meaningful change in the Constitution to ensure a redress of imbalances of the past in terms of land ownership is achieved,” Lesoma said.
Speaking in the meeting, Lotriet said they were given a specific mandate and that there were many things they still had to discuss. She said they supported a postponement, but it should not be prescriptive and should not focus on proposals the EFF had made.
Although the EFF and DA preferred a 60-day extension, the ANC insisted on a 30-day extension.
“We are to go through a memo, and the period is 30 days. We are saying we will need a special sitting of Parliament because this matter may not be dragged further than we have done now,” he said.
ANC MP Sibusiso Gumede asked what the committee would do in the event their request for an extension was not granted.
Motshekga said the leadership of Parliament would appreciate the significance of the matter, and that they could not allow a situation where the process collapsed.
“If it collapses, it would be disastrous for the country and we … cannot take chances,” he said.