Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
4 Jul 2018
3:12 pm

WATCH: White minority express unpopular opinions at land hearings

Daniel Friedman

While the land hearings in Mpumalanga and the Free State have attracted mainly black audiences, a few white people did take to the microphone to have their say.

African queens at Adelaide Tambo Hall for Land Expropriation hearings. Picture: EFF Official Twitter.

The nationwide land hearings taking place at the moment saw parliament’s constitutional review committee travel to all nine provinces to gather submissions from the public on land expropriation. Today they continued in Mpumalanga and the Free State.

The public had their say at the Msukaligwa Town Hall in Ermelo, where EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu was in attendance, and the Adelaide Tambo Hall in Middelburg, where commander-in-chief Julius Malema represented the EFF.

The hearings in both provinces were widely attended by black members of the community, with only a small showing from white residents.

Despite this, several white people had their say on Wednesday.

Black people can farm and need to be trusted with land, was the overwhelming message coming from the many black residents who took to the podium to have their say. These speakers were overwhelmingly in favour of altering the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

However, the few white people who had their say, some of whom were booed, offered a few arguments against the proposed constitutional changes.

A man who called himself Werner Weber had his say in Ermelo. He was met with cheers when he suggested land in Mpumalanga should be returned to its rightful owners without compensation. But he was jeered when he added that, according to his research, this would mean returning the land to King Mswati and the Swazi people.

He claimed that if white people are accused of stealing land black people should be too, as “when black people crossed the Limpopo river they did not negotiate for land with the Khoi people, they just took it.”

Meanwhile in Middelburg, a representative of Afriforum said that rather than land, South Africans should be prioritising jobs, education and crime prevention.

Another white speaker at the Free State session, Gert Nel, said he did not support the proposed constitutional amendments. According to Nel, land in itself does not create wealth. He said only economic use, cultivation and improvement of land in South Africa will determine the importance of this asset to the country.

The Citizen reported last week that a white man who said that “changing the constitution will not lead everyone to paradise” and that the people of South Africa should “put (their) trust in God” as “only God can solve the problems of this country”, was booed during the first round of hearings at Marble Hall in Limpopo.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android