- Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says her department cannot wait for Parliament’s go-ahead to expropriate land without compensation
- Nkoana-Mashabane said there were elements in the Constitution which allowed her to go-ahead with land expropriation without Parliament’s approval
- The minister said her department was preparing a test case, but she would not reveal the location of the land because she did not want the owners preparing for a legal defence
The new Rural Developments and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has been busy since being shuffled to her new portfolio by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Nkoana-Mashabane said her department would not wait for Parliament’s approval to start expropriating land without compensation. She revealed her department was preparing a test case for expropriating land without compensation using certain mechanisms in the Constitution.
"If we need to expropriate your land, we are going to do that, because it is in the Constitution… there are elements that say, if you live in Brussels and you are using the land that should feed my children for speculation, we will do that," she said
Briefly.co.za discovered that Nkoana-Mashabane would not reveal the location of the test case it was preparing for because she did not want the landowners to prepare a legal defence.
"If I tell you now, you are going to have some spanners put on the wheel and make my life a little bit difficult. Let me act on the things I need to act on, and then let’s move on,” she said.
Nkoana-Mashabane repeated her sentiments from a week ago when she said her department could not wait for the Parliamentary constitution review committee to complete its work, which is expected to conclude at the end of August, to start expropriating land without compensation.
The committee will make recommendations to Parliament about the viability of amending section 25 of the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
Nkoana-Mashabane was speaking at the National Forum for Dialogue on Land, Heritage and Human Rights in Johannesburg on Tuesday, other contributors at the forum were Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe, Constitutional Review Committee member Mathole Motshekga, advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi, farmers and members of the African Farmers Association of South Africa.
Nkoana-Mashabane said she was willing and able to put the book all South Africans love and respect known as the Constitution to the test. She said previous ANC administrations lacked the will to use the Constitution to serve its people.
The minister called on the police to act on illegal land grabs, but noted these acts were born from desperation.
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