Former president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday voiced his opinion on land expropriation without compensation, saying we were discussing it too much for his liking.
In videos shared on his Twitter account, the former president said he did not understand why, in 2019, South Africans were still debating on land when the facts of history were there to reflect on.
“We cannot change the facts of history, that after the Berlin conference whites came in and took the land. The wars that were fought, many thousands and thousands of people died defending their land. Some were removed from a huge stretch of land in the Western Cape in particular – our brothers, the Khoisan people. You can’t say those things did not happen,” he said.
According to the former president, freedom would not be “complete” if the land issue was not resolved. He said those whose land was forcefully taken from them should be given it back.
“You must know that the ills of black people in South Africa the bigger portion of it emanates from land dispossession. You solve the problem of land, you solve poverty in this country, inequality and economic issues.”
Zuma said selling the land to the people was not the solution either, as that would only prolong the “problem”. He said the ANC had not resolved to take land from current owners either, all that was needed was for those who have land to share it with those who don’t.
“If you want to keep the land to where it is now and sell it to people who have no money, you are prolonging the problem- a painful problem to the black people.
“I don’t know why we should be debating the matter, the matter is clear. We are not saying those who own land must not own land. We are saying, those who own huge stretches of land must share it with those who are indigenous, who owned this land before. We’re not going to dispossess them, that’s not the debate as I heard in the ANC conference. Let us make use of this resource to all South Africans.”
The former president has urged South Africa to follow in the footsteps of Europeans countries that don’t sell land, but lease it to those who want to use it.
“Why in our case it should be different? I am becoming more convinced that the drafters of the Freedom Charter were more advanced than us because they talked about the naturalisation of the land and that’s what the developed countries do.
“No land is sold to individuals, land is an important resource for the nation, that’s why the debate must be frank and straight and we must resolve the matter. We are discussing it too much for my liking,” he concluded.