Land expropriation: Committee to consider recommendations next week
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) is expected to consider next week whether it will recommend that the Constitution be amended to allow expropriation of land without compensation.
The committee met on Thursday to discuss a draft report on their work thus far on amending Section 25 of the Constitution.
Before the meeting got going, members from parties opposed to the amendment questioned whether it was premature to deal with the report as the committee had not adopted a report about the vast amount of written submissions it had received. Members from parties in favour of an amendment accused them of trying to delay proceedings.
The committee’s chairpersons, Lewis Nzimande and Stan Maila, had a tough time maintaining calm.
After Cope MP Deidre Carter raised a point of order, EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele said: “We will take you out.”
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach voiced her “strongest possible objection” to Mokwele’s statement.
Mokwele denied that she had said it and Breytenbach accused her of talking “rubbish” and calling her a liar.
“I’m not scared of you, Breytenbach,” Mokwele said.
“All of you white people combined, I’m not scared of you,” Mokwele said.
Nzimande said: “Members, you are behaving like children and it is not acceptable.”
After another exchange, DA MP Thandeka Mbabama said Mokwele suffered from “verbal diarrhoea”.
“I’m not going to lower to your level. I’m relaxed,” Mokwele said.
After the bickering subsided somewhat, the committee worked through the draft report which summarised the submissions it heard at public hearings across the country and the oral and written submissions it received.
According to the draft report, there was overwhelming support at the public hearings for a constitutional amendment.
The report further stated that those opposed to a constitutional amendment argued that the rejection of expropriation without compensation did not mean that the proponents of the viewpoint did not support land reform, reads a statement from the committee.
In terms of the written submissions and oral presentations, the report indicated that 65% of valid submissions were opposed to changing the Constitution while 34% were in favour of the amendment of the Constitution. A further 1% was undecided.
Before adjourning the meeting, Nzimande said parties must start to work on their recommendations, which the committee will consider next week Thursday.
The committee plans to conclude its report by November 15.