In a surprising vote, South Africa’s National Assembly voted to evict white farmers from their land and seize their property, in a twisted take on reparations for the country’s past apartheid policies.
The vote was led by Marxist activist Julius Malema, head of the political party Economic Freedom Fighters, who feels the seizing of land is part of delivering justice to the discrimination black farm workers have faced.
Marxism has become a powerful political force in South Africa since the government abandoned its apartheid policies. Nelson Mandela was a Marxist, and his political legacy has continued among radical black activists who have followed him.
The vote does not make the policy law, but it is the first step to making it a reality.
On Tuesday in South Africa, a shocking vote in the National Assembly ruled that white South African farmers will be removed from their land. The vote, prompted by a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema, was not even close; 241 legislators voted for it with only 83 voting against it. Malema told his supporters in 2016 he was “not calling for the slaughter of white people — at least for now.”
Supporters of the motion issued harsh statements; News24 reported Malema saying before the vote was taken, “The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice.” Gugile Nkwinti, minister of water affairs, echoed, “The ANC (African National Congress) unequivocally supports the principle of land expropriation without compensation. There is no doubt about it, land shall be expropriated without compensation.”
DA Member of Parliament Thandeka Mbabama contended that expropriation without compensation “cannot be part of the solution,” adding the issue was used as a distraction from the ANC’s failures with land reform, and was a “lie peddled by the ANC, who fears being outflanked on the left by the EFF.” Ernst Roets , Deputy CEO of AfriForum, stated, “This motion is based on a distorted image of the past. The term ‘expropriation without compensation’ is a form of semantic fraud. It is nothing more than racist theft.”
As The Daily Mail noted, “A 2017 South African government audit found white people owned 72 percent of farmland.”
The vote will be considered by the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30.