News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
26 Jun 2018
3:42 pm

AfriForum makes presentations at first public hearings on land

Makhosandile Zulu

AfriForum expects that protest action over land and housing will increase between June and August as the review committee starts nationwide public hearings.

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets, left, and CEO Kallie Kriel while in the US to garner support. Image: Twitter/Ernst Roets

Controversial Afrikaans rights group AfriForum attended public hearings on the possible review of Section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation.

The public hearings kicked off today in Springbok, Northern Cape, and the parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee is scheduled to conclude the hearings by August 4.

According to tweets by the chairperson of the group, Ernst Roets,  last night the organisation held a meeting in Springbok on land expropriation without compensation ahead of the public hearings today.

Tweeting in Afrikaans, Roets said: “AfriForum meeting on expropriation without compensation tonight in Springbok. You can choose what proposals you agree with…

Everyone draw crosses next to all the proposals…”

In a tweet this morning, Roets urged members of the public to take part in the hearings in Springbok today.

According to AfriForum, an estimated 400 community leaders attended the public hearings in Springbok today.

Earlier this year, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces resolved to mandate the Joint Constitutional Review Committee to review section 25 of the Constitution.

The section could be amended after parliament voted in favour of an Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) motion on land expropriation without compensation.

The first public hearings were not without a measured dose of drama in the Twitter-verse, as EFF’s Fana Mokoena questioned what the Democratic Alliance (DA) had promised Springbok residents to attend the hearings.

Mokoena further claimed that Roets said AfriForum was in attendance at the hearing to represent the Khoisan and Coloured people.

Roets, however, dismissed this claim, saying he had attended the hearing as an AfriForum representative, and he labelled the red berets “a pathological lying bunch”.

Mokoena would not relent, he tweeted an image of an individual who claimed to be a chief of the Khoisan Camagas who, according to the EFF member, was happy to be represented by AfriForum.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu lashed out at Roets for making a presentation at the public hearings in Springbok today.

Shivambu said the committee was there to listen to the opinions of members of the public on the possible amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution and not organisations like AfriForum which have the privilege to make presentations in parliament.

AfriForum is strongly opposed to land expropriation without compensation. Earlier this month, the group notified parliament that it was obtaining legal advice to have the process to amend section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of property without compensation declared illegal.

A few months ago, the group launched an international campaign to warn investors about land expropriation without compensation.

AfriForum expects that protest action over land and housing will increase between June and August as the review committee embarks on the nationwide tour of public hearings on amending Section 25 of the Constitution.

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