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First step to land expropriation without compensation

The National Assembly has just voted in favour of beginning a process so that the Constitution can be amended to allow land expropriation without compensation.

On Tuesday, 324 of 400 MPs sat in the National Assembly to vote on the motion that was brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters.

241 MPs voted in favour of the motion, while 83 voted against it. There were no abstentions.

The EFF’s motion, which was led by Julius Malema, calls for the establishment of a parliamentary ad hoc committee that will review and amend section 25 of the Constitution after hearing public submissions from policy makers, academics, civil society and the public.

The ANC, Inkatha Freedom Party, and the National Freedom Party voiced their support for the motion.

READ MORE: The last people stand alone in the face of platinum’s bulldozers

The ANC said it also wanted include amendments that would protect agriculture and food security, which the EFF found amiable.

But the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus voted against the motion. The DA said that a proposal to expropriate land without compensation “undermines” property rights.

Congress of the People leader Terror Lekota also ignited controversy in the House after saying that colonisers did not steal land from black people, because the Khoisan entered into an agreement with settlers for their land to be taken.

Malema responded to Lekota, saying: “You are a historical mistake”.

READ MORE: The bones echo the cry for the return of ancestral land

The sitting at the National Assembly on Tuesday saw fierce debate among MPs, but once the ANC agreed to support the EFF’s motion “unequivocally”, it became clear that the red berets’ proposal would win the majority.

A Constitution Review Committee will review section 25 of the Constitution and has been set a deadline to report back to the National Assembly by August 30.

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Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

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