Hard day for Lekota at land hearings

Members of the public showed they could go one better than MPs in howling and taking potshots during public hearings into proposed constitutional changes in Limpopo today.

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosioua Lekota endured a difficult day, getting stick from members of the public for his opposition to proposed amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for government to expropriate land without compensation as part of the land reform.

The hearings at the Lenyenye Community Hall were attended by hundreds of people who packed the venue all day on Friday.

While many expressed admiration for Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema saying he had been instrumental in pushing for the debate on land, Lekota came in for a lot of ridicule and jokes.

“I thought you were one of those who fought for freedom. But I see [that] you are a project gone wrong,” Pastor Godfrey Mushwana said to loud cheers during his submission in support of the proposed amendments.

Mushwana went further to say committee chairperson Vincent Smith should convene a meeting to educate young MPs and exclude Lekota saying “you are old [and] you can die [at] anytime.”

At one point Smith intervened asking participants to spare the MPs insults and direct them to him instead.

Another young man told the house that he had lost all respect for Lekota.

“We used to respect you until you said what you said in the national assembly when you stood against land expropiation without compensation,” said the youth to loud cheers.

Lekota disappeared for a long period during the session and his return to the podium caused ripples of laughter.

The Cope leader however took it all in his stride simply listening and even cracking up at some of the comments aimed at him.

A youth representing the Democratic Alliance afforded the sitting an opportunity to show they could howl and jeer louder than MPs normally do in parliament.

This was after he said in his submission that black people are incapable of owning land.

Malema intervened pleading with the house to respect all views regardless of whether they agreed with them or not.

The committee also heard many submissions with regards to human rights violations on white-owned farms.

It also heard that the shortage of land was stifling procreation as people are forced to live in crammed conditions. – Mukurukuru Media

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Lucas Ledwaba
Lucas Ledwaba
Journalist and author of Broke & Broken - The Shameful Legacy of Gold Mining in South Africa.

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