State is going to give expropriated land to MK veterans.

Staat gaan onteiende grond aan MK-veterane gee.

“This is nothing more than a repetition of Zimbabwean land policy.” This was the reaction of Free State Agriculture (FSA) after the former Minister of Agriculture, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, announced during the state of the nation address debate on Wednesday that MK veterans will receive expropriated farms.

“The government can expect strong opposition from Free State Agriculture. This statement confirms that the bona fides of the new Expropriation Act are suspicious”, says Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture.

With this statement, the ruling party have hung out their Zimbabwe petticoat: For the agricultural community, it confirms the growing risk that the state will follow a Zimbabwe approach to land ownership. Ironically, land redistribution, restitution and land reform plays no role in such decisions. This means that land ownership and political association will be decisive and there are already examples of this”, Wilken said.

In a recent incident, Ivan Cloete from the Western Cape was informed by government officials that he had to leave his state rental farm because an MK veteran would receive the farm. This is the third time that the state has taken a farm away from Cloete, despite the fact that he managed  each farm successfully.

According to rumours, Cloete was intimidated and harassed by government officials. The group of government officials threatened him with illegal eviction if he did not immediately hand over the farm and leave.

Last year, an attempt was made to deprive David Rakgase of his farm after he had rented his farm from the state since 1991. Rakgase was later able to buy the land in June 2020, after the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the government’s inability to sell the farm to him was unconstitutional. Rakgase, however, has since been waiting for his title deed, while the state again pointed out his land as state land which will be made available to others.

According to Wilken, expropriation without compensation would be an abuse of political power. As the case currently unfolds, it appears that state wants the final decision-making right over who may own property. Where individual property is destroyed, human rights are violated – just as in Zimbabwe.

Anyone who wants to oppose the Expropriation Amendment Act can record their input on Free State Agriculture’s website (https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/). This input will be handed over to parliament.

“Dit is niks anders as ʼn herhaling van die Zimbabwiese grondbeleid nie”. Dit was die reaksie van Vrystaat Landbou nadat die voormalige Minister van Landbou, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Woensdag tydens die staatsrede debat aangekondig het dat MK-veterane onteiende plase gaan ontvang.

“Die regering kan sterk teenkanting van Vrystaat Landbou verwag. Hierdie uitlating bevestig dat die nuwe Onteieningswet se bona fides verdag is”, sê Francois Wilken, President van Vrystaat Landbou.

Met hierdie uitlating het die regerende party hul Zimbabwe-onderrok laat hang: Vir die landbougemeenskap bevestig dit die groeiende risiko is dat die staat ʼn Zimbabwe-benadering tot grond eienaarskap gaan volg. Ironies, speel grondherverdeling, restitusie en hervorming geen rol in sodanige besluite nie. Dit beteken dat grond eienaarskap en politieke assosiasie bepalend gaan wees, en daar is reeds voorbeelde hiervan.”, het  Wilken gesê.

In die onlangse voorval is Ivan Cloete  in die Wes-Kaap deur regeringsamptenare ingelig dat hy sy staats huurplaas moet verlaat omdat ’n MK-veteraan die plaas gaan ontvang. Hierdie is die derde keer dat die staat Cloete se plaas wegneem, ten spyte daarvan dat hy die plaas suksesvol bestuur. Volgens berugte is Cloete deur staatsamptenare geïntimideer en geteister. Die groep staatsamptenare het hom gedreig met onwettige uitsetting indien hy nie dadelik die plaas oorhandig en verlaat nie.

Verlede jaar is gepoog om David Rakgase se plaas te ontneem nadat hy sy plaas sedert 1991 by die staat huur. Rakgase kon later, nadat die hooggeregshof in Pretoria beslis het dat die regering se onvermoë om die plaas aan hom te verkoop ongrondwetlik is, die grond in Junie 2020 koop. Rakgase wag egter sedertdien steeds vir sy titelakte, onderwyl die staat intussen weer sy grond uitgewys het as staatsgrond wat aan ander beskikbaar gestel gaan word.

Volgens Wilken is sal onteiening sonder vergoeding ’n politieke mag vergryp wees. Soos die saak tans ontvou blyk dit dat staat die finale besluitnemings-reg wil hê oor wie eiendom mag besit. Waar individuele eiendomsreg vernietig word menseregte geskend – net soos in Zimbabwe.

Enige persoon wat die Onteieningswysigingswet wil teenstaan, kan hul inset op Vrystaat Landbou se webwerf aanteken (https://vrystaatlandbou.co.za/stop-expropriation/). Hierdie inset sal aan die parlement oorhandig word.