News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
10 Jul 2018
12:25 pm

Azapo wants expropriation of land owned by rich whites, not land owned by blacks

Makhosandile Zulu

The party says the focus should be on repossessing land that is owned by 'land hoarders', such as rich white families and mining companies.

Black consciousness movement party, the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo), says the high-level panel chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe is “misdirected” on land.

The party’s standing committee met at the weekend to discuss a number of issues, including expropriation of land without compensation.

In a statement, the organisation said the panel Motlanthe chaired had been misdirected by focusing on the 13% of land controlled by traditional leaders and black people.

“It is disgraceful that while the so-called high-level panel readily provided us with recommendations on how to deal with land under the custodianship of traditional leaders, there was utter silence on the primary contradiction on the land and the agrarian question in South Africa – the iniquitous ownership of land between black and white people, where the white settler minority still clings to 87% of our land,” the party said.

Azapo said repossessing land through expropriation without compensation should be directed towards rich white families, who, the party said, were the real hoarders of land rather than traditional leaders.

These families include the Oppenheimers, the Ruperts and the Wieses, while land hoarders include big mining companies such as De Beers, Anglo American and Lonmin, the party said.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini responded to recommendations by the high-level panel chaired by Motlanthe that the Ingonyama Trust, which owns about 29.67% of mostly deep rural land in KZN, be dissolved or amended by threatening to secede from the rest of South Africa and establish an independent Zulu state.

Azapo said it would consult traditional leaders on the land issue and share with them the party’s opposition to expropriation of land under the jurisdiction of this institution.

“Azapo will seek audience with Contralesa [Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa], Inkosi Zwelithini and the Ingonyama Trust, The Royal Bafokeng Council, and other Traditional  leaders in order to  consolidate our resistance to the transfer of black communal land, but also to realise the  expunction of section 25 of the Constitution, which is a major obstacle toward the repossession and redistribution of land back to its rightful owners,” the party said.

The party further lambasted Motlanthe for his “village tin pot dictators” comment, calling it irresponsible, as it was “vulgar and denigrating and provocative” towards traditional leaders and had polarised black people.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini at the weekend during his Thuma Mina election campaign in KwaZulu-Natal, where he reassured the monarch that he need not leave South Africa and set up his own Zulu homeland with his people.

Ramaphosa said he met with King Zwelithini on Friday night to discuss a “range of issues”, primarily that neither the ANC nor government wished to expropriate the Ingonyama Trust land.

However, The Inkatha Freedom Party – which has a stronghold in the province, and is opposed to the scrapping of the Ingonyama Trust as recommended by the high-level panel chaired by Motlanthe – has cried electioneering, and has suggested the ANC cannot be trusted.

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