SA must plan for worst on land re­form

Pretoria News - - OPINION -

AS THE country ea­gerly waits for the gov­ern­ment to fi­nalise the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, I sug­gest we may as well start to plan for the worst.

South Africans are well within their rights to ex­er­cise their sovereignt­y in deal­ing with the ex­clu­sive and dis­crim­i­na­tory laws passed un­der apartheid.

We must be cau­tious as we di­gest what US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said about our ef­forts to deal with the land ques­tion.

He said the pro­posed pol­icy to change Sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low us to ex­pro­pri­ate land with­out com­pen­sa­tion would be dis­as­trous for the South African econ­omy and its peo­ple.

I wish Pom­peo could take a leaf out of a book by the leader of the Con­ser­va­tive Party and cur­rent Bri­tish prime min­is­ter, Boris Johnson, who ad­mit­ted dur­ing his cam­paign speech that his country played a “shame­ful” role in Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic woes.

We also hear the US gov­ern­ment has asked the Zim­bab­wean gov­ern­ment to re­turn land to white farmers as a con­di­tion to lift eco­nomic sanc­tions.

This is rather shame­ful. Zim­bab­weans, all white and black, must find an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion and the US must stop weapon­is­ing this is­sue to ful­fil its im­pe­ri­al­ist agenda.

What we do not hear from the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional me­dia is why Lon­don did not hon­our the Lan­caster House agree­ment, 20 years later.

Sec­ond, the crit­i­cism of the

land seizures, prompted by white farmers dig­ging in their heels, hid­ing be­hind the “will­ing-buyer will­ingseller” prin­ci­ple, was a one-sided ar­gu­ment which the US and Bri­tish gov­ern­ments did lit­tle to han­dle in a way to as­sist the Zim­bab­wean gov­ern­ment.

What more could hap­pen if we pro­ceed with ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion?

From Pom­peo’s ar­gu­ment, I am wor­ried that the country can be plunged into chaos, iso­lated and sanc­tioned. The re­al­ity is we must plan for the worst. | RANKEPILE KHOMO Duduza

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