“The more things change, the more they stay the same!”
Land Reform in South Africa: Unpacking a very contentious issue
Very controversial, very contentious and heated emotions on all sides. Our leaders should not remain silent and thereby endorse alternatively encourage a genocide!!!
1. Any argument in favour of land reform is very contentious to say the very least. We have an Apartheid legacy where people were forcibly removed and thereby displaced from their land and property. To even think that land reform can be considered in a Constitutional democracy is very disturbing! This should not even be an option. By even considering land reform without compensation is simply to engage in the very repugnant behaviour that the former Apartheid Government engaged in;
2. Animal Farm: I am by no means suggesting or alluding to a misconception that our leaders are animals. Our South African people are famous for taking things out of context and connecting invisible lines with separate dots! In my opinion one of the purposes of George Orwell’s satirical Animal farm is for us as South African citizens to be able to identify hypocrisy, the very corrupting influence of power, corruption, and to compare the characters and behaviour of our current leaders with the characters that manifest in the book. Our key question should be: are our leaders any different??
3. Animal farm demonstrates that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that replaced Tsar Nicholas 11 was far worse when it came to genocide, atrocities and crimes against humanity! ‘economic freedom in our life time,’ simply means succumbing to the lure of power at any cost and by any means. Such succumbing to power is to detriment of the White minority. So did reconciliation really take place or is it possible that certain persons have vengeful intent?
4. I willing to accept very little opinion with regards to communism as I have engaged in extensive study of communism from 1986 to date. I am very familiar with all of Karl Marx’s writings and not just ‘das capital,’ I know enough to state and confirm for the record that Karl Marx himself did not even identify Russia as a possible state for communism. His first choice was England and then Germany. Karl Marx never provided any form of blue print for communism but rather choice to focus the vast majority of his writings on a criticism of capitalism. You see every fanatic that thinks he is a revolutionary does not have a thorough understanding of all the writings of Karl Marx. I’m willing to bet money that if the leaders of the ANCYL and I were given a written test by an independent examiner on all of Karl Marx’s writings they would fail dismally! I state and confirm for the record that Marxian economics is far more challenging than capitalistic economics. I had a misguided romantic perception of communism as a kid really believing that its purpose was to promote true equality between men and distribute land equitably. History tells us that this was not the case!
5. This concept of land reform and land redistribution has its historical routes with the Russian revolution in 1917. The idea was that the peasants of that day would take over the land of the so called noble class and then distribute it.
6. One must appreciate though that the peasants of that day were living in abject misery. Initially both Lenin and Trotsky identified these needs of the masses and merely told them what they wanted to hear. You see you can’t have radical land redistribution without making the vast majority of a countries people genuinely angry and making them genuinely feel robbed and entitled to more than what they currently have. The view was that the land should belong to those who worked such land. So the promise that Trotsky and Lenin made was in essence ‘economic freedom in your life time.’ It’s noteworthy that they did not use these exact same words but this is nonetheless what they were promising!
7. Animal Farm demonstrates that what was promised to the people i.e. ‘economic freedom in your lifetime,’ was never attained, the new guard the USSR treated their own people with brutality. There was no true equality, no measurable economic freedom in their lifetime. There was poverty, sickness and millions died in very ugly ways.
8. Animal farm demonstrates how leaders can be corrupted. The novel never really condemned the actual act of the Russian revolution but rather the hypocrisy of the new leaders. It showed how they changed the ideals that they promised, it showed how what these leaders said would never happen with the transition actually happened 10 fold. The book clearly shows how ignorance to the proper resolution of problems can allow genocide and atrocities. The key attributes of those new revolutionary leaders was cruelty, deception, wickedness, ignorance, greed and an inability to resolve major problems without harming people in that process!!!
9. In the book Napoleon is an allegory of Joseph Stalin. Okay so the animals take over the farm and create what they call the 7 commandsments:
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
10. They change the commandments to the following:
1. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
2. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
3. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
11. Napoleon(Stalin) realizes that he needs an angry and influential youth to carry out his agenda. He takes the puppies of Jessie and Bluebell, and trains them to be his security force, basically an unlimited angry mob of youth that will do whatever to instruct them to do.
12. Our South African context: The ANC stood against Apartheid. During Apartheid people were forcibly removed from their land, there was no freedom of expression. The ANCYL is still an organ of the ANC. The ANC demonstrated that freedom of expression in their favour is fine but that freedom of expression not in their favour requires protest marches, press conferences and instigating racial division! You see, it quite alright to ‘shoot the boer,’ but it’s another thing for an artist to draw a satirical painting of the president. The Apartheid government forcibly removed people from their land, how can the ruling party even allow the ANCYL to even talk about land reform without compensation?????
13. I support voluntary land reform with full compensation i.e. a farmer says, ‘I’m going to hang up my farming boots, I’m going into the panel beating business. The value of my farm with improvements if 20 million, I’ll take cash please!” And, that will be that.
14. Ronald Lamola essentially said that if White South African farmers don’t willingly hand over their land to poor Black people land invasions similar to what took place in Zimabawe will happen right here in South Africa. He went on further to say that the safety of “Van Tonders and the Van der Merwes on farms” would not be guaranteed“If they don’t want to see angry black youths flooding their farms they must come to the party. Whites must volunteer some of the land and mines they own.”The ANCYL spokesperson has this to say Magdalene Moonsamy said the groups needed to be "ready for the fight of their lives"."We welcome this battle, and we will not retreat. We are adamant that this issue of land cannot be negotiated, and at no point will we will we back down."Ronald Lamola postulated that the Constitution of 1996 should be amended Lamola to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. “He warned that if white South Africans did not hand land over to poor blacks, there could be land invasions like those which took place in Zimbabwe.”
15. Ronald lamola, the only place that you’ll find success before work is in the English dictionary! Nothing x nothing is still nothing! i.e. 0 x 0 = 0!
16. I’m no politician but I know that youth leaders of all the political parties should be addressing issues that affect the youth such as teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, education, hiv/aids etc
17. He should be charged with several more criminal offences: 1: conspiracy to commit theft, assault and murder.”Any person who ... conspires with any other person to aid or procure the commission of or to commit ... any offence ... shall be guilty of an offence.” “This provision does not differentiate between a successful conspiracy (ie one followed by the actual commission of the crime) and one not followed by any further steps towards the commission of the crime. Theoretically it is possible to charge and convict people of contravention of this provision even though the crime envisaged was indeed subsequently committed.” 2: Incite to commit assault, theft and murder:”In South Africa incitement to commit a crime is not a common-law crime, but a statutory crime. Section 18 (2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956 criminalises incitement to commit crimes. The relevant parts of this section read as follows: Any person who incites, instigates, commands or procures any other person to commit any offence shall be guilty of an offence.”
18. “ In Nkosiyana an inciter was described as somebody ``who reaches out and seeks to influence the mind of another to the commission of a crime''. Whether the other person (Y) is capable of being persuaded is immaterial. Neither do the means X uses to influence or try to influence Y carry any weight. The emphasis is therefore on X's conduct, and not that of Y. The incitement may take place either explicitly of implicitly.”
19. Section 25 of the Constitution of 1996 deals with property rights.
20. The government itself owns vast amounts of land, so do traditional leaders. They should start with redistributing this land and enter into negotiations for voluntary land reform with full compensation.
It’s not a matter of a simple barren veld we talking about here. We talking about land whose value due to improvements, buildings, crops, fertilising the ground etc has increased in value.
21. I support the redressing of past unfairness but not to the detriment of any minority. I support voluntary land reform with full market value compensation