Mercedes Besent, SABC
National Freedom Party (NFP) MP Sibusiso Mncwabe has warned Freedom Front Plus (FF+) leader Dr Pieter Groenewald about his comments on a possible civil war over the land issue.
Mncwabe responded to Groenewald’s warning towards the end of the debate on land transfer in Parliament on Tuesday.
Groenewald said taking land without compensation, could lead to a civil war.
Mncwabe says such a comment is unacceptable.
“I am very disturbed with you honourable Groenewald. You must be born again… if we want our land; we want our land, full stop. You cannot come here and say we are inviting the civil war. Our forefathers died for this land. If you speak of the civil war, we are not scared; we are ready, because that is what our forefathers died for,” adds Mncwabe.
The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa said while there was no “quick fix” to speeding up land reform in South Africa, it had to be carried out within the law and with fair and just compensation.
“Land grabs must be stopped, otherwise we breed a culture of lawlessness, criminality because if we handle the land question recklessly, we run the risk of descending into an unnecessary spate of violence.”
The ANC and EFF are using the principle of willing buyer / willing selling as a smokescreen to hide the real reasons for the failure of land reform, which are incompetence and corruption among officials in the land reform process, says dr. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.
Today, during the parliamentary debate on speeding up land reform, dr. Groenewald warned the ANC and the EFF that it is extremely dangerous and irresponsible to threaten legal landowners with expropriation without compensation seeing as such actions could possibly even instigate a civil war.
Considering that there is a general election on its way, dr. Groenewald says that this rhetoric on land-grabbing without compensation makes it very clear that the theme of the upcoming elections in South Africa will be land. He says that it seems like the ANC and EFF are competing to see who can make the most promises regarding land to potential voters.
“It is not true that the whites took most of the land in the country from the blacks by means of violence and war. In many cases the land was either given to the Voortrekkers or there was some kind of trade.
“Currently there are more than 20 000 farms in the open market in South Africa and some are priced as low as 20% below market value due to the drought. This serves to prove that complaints about the willing buyer / willing seller principle are nothing but a smokescreen to hide the fact that incompetence and corruption are the real reasons for why land reform is unsuccessful.
“Farmers are actually willing to assist in the process. They are willing to act as mentors, in fact, some already are. Their goodwill, however, gets ignored when it comes to agricultural land in particular,” says dr. Groenewald.
Issued by the FF Plus leader, 14 June 2017