- ANC anti-apartheid stalwart Andrew Mlangeni has warned President Cyril Ramaphosa to handle the land expropriation matter carefully
- The 93-year-old struggle hero said land reform could be disastrous if handled badly because of Afrikaners would not go down without a fight
- Mlangeni said the government should start the land reform process by giving its own land back to people before seizing occupied land
African National Congress (ANC) anti-apartheid stalwart and Rivonia trial member Andrew Mlangeni has warned President Cyril Ramaphosa to handle land reform carefully in order to avoid a disaster. The 93-year-old warned that Afrikaners would not give up their land without a fight.
Mlangeni said the government should start the land reform process by using land already owned by the government for redistribution before it started seizing anyone else’s land.
“It’s a difficult question, but we must be very, very careful in how we solve this problem, because if the government is not careful in resolving it more or less peacefully, farmers, especially the Afrikaners are not going to give up this land issue very easily,” he warned.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mlangeni was speaking at the launch event of the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation’s inclusive growth forum in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
Citizen.co.za reported that while Mlangeni warned about the dire consequences if the land reform matter was handled poorly, he did give his unqualified support for the process of land reform.
Mlangeni was one of several other ANC members who stood trial with Nelson Mandela at the infamous 1963 Rivonia trial. He was a close friend of Mandela and spoke at his funeral service.
President Ramaphosa is grappling with how best to implement the ANC’s land reform policy, which was adopted at the 54th National Elective Conference in December, without affecting food security and other economic sectors.
Ramaphosa has gone to great lengths to explain to foreign investors how land reform in South Africa was not only needed, but could actually help to grow the economy. The president has condemned so-called land grabs and said his government would not tolerate any illegal activity.
Roelf Meyer told News24.com that he did not believe it was necessary for the government to amend section 25 of the Constitution to enable it to accelerate land reform.
Meyer is part of the group who wrote the Constitution and said the wording of the law allowed for the government to implement land reforms. He felt the current government had failed to implement the right laws to facilitate land reform as envisioned by the architects of the Constitution.
Meyer also pointed out that the government was the single biggest landowner in the country and owned around 4 000 farms. He said most of those properties had been claimed, but as yet had not been handed over to their new owners.
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