11 May 2018
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has noted with grave concern the perceived “fear mongering” by certain groups in SMSes attempting to distort the work of Parliament.
The committee became aware of an SMS in Afrikaans doing the rounds in which it is alleged that the management of an agriculture union in Muldersdrift at a recent meeting told people that the intention of reviewing section 25 of the Constitution is to expropriate everything they owned. This included “vehicles, loose items, weapons, money in the bank and naturally your pension”. The SMS likens the current process to the Zimbabwean situation, where they claim citizens were given a short period to move off the land.
The Co-Chairperson of the committee, Mr Vincent Smith, warned South Africans against such fake news. “This is definitely not the intention of Parliament. The current mandate by the National Assembly is merely to review section 25 of the Constitution and other sections where necessary to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest and to propose the necessary constitutional amendments, where applicable.”
The committee met yesterday to adopt its programme for the public participation process and resolved to extend the closing date for written submission to 15 June 2018. The committee further resolved to conduct public hearings from 26 June to 6 August 2018 in all provinces. Provinces with large rural areas will have four days set aside for the hearings while others will have three days of public hearings.
The other Co-Chairperson of the committee, Mr Lewis Nzimande, called on all South Africans to desist from trying to detract from the work of the committee. “If this SMS is indeed legitimate, then we are extremely concerned by the message sections of the agriculture sector is sending out. We do not want to take any persons’ personal items, like vehicles or money. That is not the purpose of this process.” He assured South Africans that all submissions will be taken into account by the committee.
The committee yesterday extended the closing date for written submissions and requests for oral presentation to Friday, 15 June 2018. Enquiries and written submissions can be addressed to Ms Pat Jayiya, Committee Section, PO Box 15, Cape Town 8000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel (021) 403-3661, fax 086 465 0678, cell 081 441 0345. Hand delivered submissions can be submitted at W/S 091, 3rd Floor, 90 Plein Street, Cape Town.
Please find the link to the draft programme https://tinyurl.com/y7kthzlj