Free State Agriculture (FSA) have expressed outrage at the announcement made during the State of the Nation Address Debate, by former Minister of Agriculture Tina Joemat-Pettersson, that MK veterans will receive expropriated farms.
“This is nothing more than a repetition of Zimbabwean land policy,” said the FSA, accusing the ANC have hanging out “their Zimbabwe petticoat”.
“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 FSA President Francois Wilken.
The group says that for the agricultural community, this statement confirms the growing risk that South Africa will follow a Zimbabwe approach to land ownership.
“Ironically, land redistribution, restitution and land reform play no role in such decisions. This means that land ownership and the 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, says the FSA.
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
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 the SA 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,” says FSA.