“We want our land back”: Northern Cape joins increasing land chorus

Emotions ran high at Northern Cape’s final public hearing into land expropriation without compensation, with the overwhelming majority of oral submissions calling for an amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution.

Making their way into Kimberley’s City Hall, where the hearing was held, a group of people toyi-toyi’d to songs demanding land. Inside the packed hall, cries of “amandla” was often heard following oral submissions by those in favour of the mooted move. 

READ MORE: Northern Cape Nama farmers fear expropriation of ancestral land

The hearing forms part of national hearings on a review of section 25 of the Constitution — which deals with property rights — to make it possible for the state to expropriate land “in the public interest without compensation”.

Earlier this year, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces resolved to mandate the joint constitutional review committee to review this section of the Constitution. More than 700 000 written submissions forms from the public were made.

AgriSA and AfriForum representatives were among those opposed to any amendment of the Constitution.

AfriForum’s Johann Weber said Section 25 was “not only about land, it is also about property” more broadly.

“If we break down property rights … we destroy the foundation of South Africa,” Weber said. 

READ MORE: Kuruman public hearings join the call for land expropriation without compensation

As part of his submission, Gaopalelwe Motebe, provincial chairperson of Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo), countered: “This situation is untenable. In this province, only 5% of land is in state hands. If we don’t return the land, what was the struggle for? Without justice there will be no peace.”

Khoisan king, !Xuptema January, said, “land should be returned to its rightful owners”.

“I will take my land back,” he added.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Put the Veuve on ice – the Bold Women Award...

Now in its 50th year, the Veuve Clicquot Bold Women Award is launching in South Africa for the first time.

Massmart will not be profitable as long as it keeps...

Walmart bought Massmart in 2011 and over the past 10 years the share price of the group has decreased by 80%.

Cartoon: Are we back in the 20th century?

Carlos Amato asks if there's one last way we can regress as a species

The problem with Stalingrad is the cost, not the law

The tragedy is that few of us could afford to brief fine lawyers to fight all the way to the highest courts, but we are all paying for what is playing out on stage

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…