05:33 GMT +322 March 2018
Listen Live
    In this file photo dated March 29, 2000, Pippa van Rechteren, left, and her two-year-old twins Catherine, second from left, and Elisabeth, third from left, are blocked from leaving their house on the white-owned commercial farm, Chiripiro, by Zimbabwe war veterans in Centenary district, 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of Harare

    Seizure of White Farmers' Land in S Africa 'Severe Infringement on Human Rights'

    © AP Photo/
    Get short URL

    Last week the South African parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority of 241 votes in favor versus 83 votes against the motion to change the country’s constitution in order to pave the way for a planned expropriation of land from white farmers without any financial compensation.

    Sputnik has discussed this issue with Kallie Kriel, the CEO of AfriForum. Before the establishment of AfriForum, Kallie was the Head of Marketing and member benefits at Solidarity.

    Sputnik: How would you characterize the land expropriation motion in South Africa dubbed by some as reverse apartheid? How legal is this initiative?

    Kallie Kriel: Expropriating property without paying for it would be a severe infringement on the human rights of property owners and should be condemned by the international community in the same way they condemned apartheid. If the South African constitution is changed as planned to allow for expropriation without compensation, it would be impossible the challenge it in South African courts as the courts function according to the constitution. In our view this does, however, not make it legal. Theft of property cannot be seen as legal simply because the constitution is changed to allow it. South Africa should also be bound by international law and treaties that don't allow property to be stolen by the state.

    READ MORE: What Do People Say About Future Confiscation of White Farmers' Land in S Africa?

    Sputnik: Julius Malema, who brought the motion, stated that it was time for justice. But how just is it from a historical perspective? How correct or incorrect are the claims that white people who own land obtained it solely by means of oppression?

    Kallie Kriel: Julius Malema propagates a lie that whites stole land. The only original indigenous people of Southern Africa are the Khoisan group. Black people on whose behalf Malema claims to speak originally came from central Africa, while whites came from Europe. Malema and his supporters thus do not have any more right to property than whites. Malema is driven by anti-white racism that he is propagating continuously. There is a legal land restitution process in South Africa that can be used by people that can prove that they lost lands unfairly. Malema, and now the ANC [African National Congress], does not want to use this, as they want to deprive whites of all their property, even if this would also be to the detriment of the vast majority of black people as the example of Zimbabwe illustrates.

    READ MORE: People Protest Against Mass Murders of White Farmers in S Africa (PHOTO, VIDEO)

    Sputnik: Why is the government doing it now? Why has land redistribution become the key talking point in South Africa?

    Kallie Kriel: The South African government has failed South Africans through corruption and incompetence. They are now trying to evade responsibility for this and retain support by making whites the scape goat for what went wrong in the country. They are desperate.

    READ MORE: What South Africa Will Be Post-Zuma; The Economics of 'Black Panther'

    Sputnik: Some liken the situation in South Africa with that in Zimbabwe that led to economic challenges. What immediate and long-term repercussions could the land expropriation have? If implemented, how is this initiative to be handled?

    Kallie Kriel: The immediate effect would be polarization and the drying up of much needed international investments. International and local investors don't invest in places where there is disrespect for property rights. This will ultimately destroy South Africa's economy, leading to the extreme poverty we see in Zimbabwe with a 90% unemployment rate. The difference is that people in Zimbabwe fled to South Africa after Mugabe destroyed that country, but South Africans have nowhere else to go.

    The views and opinions expressed by Kallie Kriel are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


    Cyril Ramaphosa Elected New South African President After Jacob Zuma Resigns
    2018 Preview: South Asian Rivalry, African Wars, Latin America In Limbo
    Apartheid Aftereffect: Are Farm Murders in South Africa Racially-Charged?
    white farmers, expropriation, land, apartheid, farmers, South Africa
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment