Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Another day of terror for Lekota

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosioua Lekota should be worried about his party’s chances in the 2019 general elections if sentiments expressed by participants in the public hearings into proposed amendments to the Constitution are anything to go by.

Members of the public continued to attack Lekota during public hearings by Parliament’s joint constitutional review committee.

Many have questioned Lekota’s opposition to proposed changes to Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation.

Some pleaded with Lekota to change his views, with one person even going as far as to plead with Lekota to ‘come back home’. Another member of the public accused him of being a sellout.

So far the hearings have exposed a deep racial divide between black people who are overwhelmingly in support of the motion and white people who are against it.

It has also brought to the fore strong divisions between Cope and the Democratic Alliance (DA) who are against the mooted amendments, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the ANC who firmly support changes.

Patrick Shiba was among many who questioned Lekota’s allegiances, asking what he had struggled and spent time on Robben Island for if he is now against a motion, which seemingly favours black people.

The committee heard a variety of submissions including unresolved land claims, the high cost of municipal land and government’s failure to implement existing constitutional provisions to address the issue of land reform and restitution.

At least 2 000 people attended the hearings in Mbombela on Monday.

Committee chairperson Vincent Smith said the hearings have so far produced a strong quality of arguments both for and against mooted amendments.

He said so far the hearings have been ‘rough’ in terms of the tension between people who hold opposing views.

Asked whether it was fair to allow political parties to influence the views of the participants, Smith said there was nothing wrong as political parties were also a part of society.

He said the committee has received close to a million written submissions with, Afrikaner interest group AfriForum submitting 51 000 signatures.

AfriForum has raised concerns that holding the hearings during working hours deprives those at work the opportunity to make their submissions.

But Smith argued that if the hearings were held after working hours it would deprive those who were bussed in from far flung areas — including farm dwellers — an opportunity to attend. — Mukurukuru Media

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

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

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The Democratic Alliance and illiberal liberalism’s glass ceiling

The DA appears to have abandoned its ambitions of 2016 and is set to lose further ground in the upcoming elections

Canna-business deal for Ingonyama Trust land

Foreign investment has been lined up for a joint venture with the Ingonyama Trust Board, which administers tribal land for the Zulu monarch

More top stories

The Democratic Alliance and illiberal liberalism’s glass ceiling

The DA appears to have abandoned its ambitions of 2016 and is set to lose further ground in the upcoming elections

ANC Durban election candidate shot dead while on door-to-door campaign

One other man was shot dead and two others were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds

Rule of law drops globally, including in South Africa

Security and corruption prevents the country from ranking higher on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for 2021

Slice of life: ‘I can read nine or 10 books...

David van der Westhuizen, a street bookseller based at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts Gallery in Durban, tells Paddy Harper how he survives unemployment
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×