Members of the public at the Land public hearings at the Kokstad Town Hall
Picture:Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – The African National Congress’s “attempt to undermine” the recently concluded Constitutional Review Committee’s (CRC) land hearings by running a parallel process through its branches to influence the outcome of the hearings is dangerous and undermines the authority of parliament, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

According to reports on Sunday, the ANC top six gained access to the about 700 000 written submissions made by the public on expropriation without compensation (EWC) at the end of July. Most of these submissions opposed a change of section 25 of the Constitution, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said.

“In order to ‘cook the books’, the ANC resolved to instruct its branches to collect more submissions from its members to support the ANC’s position, for possible submission to the CRC. This is despite the deadline for submissions being closed,” he said.

The work of the CRC was entirely funded by parliament, not the ANC, and the fact that the ANC irregularly gained access to these submissions before parliament did utterly undermined the current parliamentary process. This proved that changing the Constitution to allow for EWC was just an electioneering effort that seemed to have backfired.

“The ANC has also apparently earmarked 139 farms belonging to farmers who previously rejected offers under the ‘willing buyer, willing seller model’ to be expropriated without compensation. While some compensation will be offered, the value will be determined by the valuer-general, expropriation notices could be issued if the offer is rejected and then tested in court. Reports indicate that this process is already underway, again bypassing parliamentary processes,” Steenhuisen said.

“The ANC is in panic mode after President Cyril Ramaphosa prematurely announced that the ANC will move to expropriate land without compensation and amend the Constitution. Parliament, which is meant to serve all South Africans, cannot allow ANC political expediency to trump the will of the people.

“It is very clear that the ANC proposed amendment to the Constitution is being pursued with the intention of being railroaded through parliament not for the good of South Africa, but in a desperate attempt to bolster its election campaign.

“South Africa cannot be held to ransom by a party which has decided to go down the path of populism to salvage its waning political fortunes to the detriment of the national economy,” Steenhuisen said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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