• (FILE): South African President Cyril Ramaphosa supports the motion to take land off white people in his country. (AAP)Source: AAP
In a country where 72 per cent of farmland is owned by white people, the South African government has passed a motion to take the land off the owners without compensation, and give it to black people.
Rangi Hirini

28 Feb 2018 - 3:34 PM  UPDATED 28 Feb 2018 - 3:38 PM

The current ruling African National Congress had promised to change the laws to enable black people to retain land in South Africa.  

After his inauguration two weeks ago, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to speed up the transfer of land.

The newly elected President stressed on the importance of preserving food production and security.

The radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party brought the motion to parliament where it was passed by an overwhelming 241 votes in favour verses 83 votes against.

Julius Malema, EFF leader, brought the motion to parliament.

In his address to parliament, Mr Malema said he was not looking to get revenge on white people but wanted a restoration of black people’s dignity, which is deeply rooted in the land.

“The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice,” he said.

We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”

The main opposition party in South Africa, Democratic Alliance party (DA), opposed the motion arguing changes to the constitution will undermine property rights and scare off potential investors.

Thandeka Mbabama from the Democatic Alliance party said land expropriation should not be a part of the solution to write the wrongs of the past.

“By arguing for expropriation without compensation, the ANC has been gifted the perfect scapegoat to explain away its own failure," she said in a statement.

The matter has been referred to the parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee, which must report back by August 30.

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