AfriForum to continue battle in court against parliamentary decision that Constitution must be amended to make expropriation without compensation possible

In reaction to Parliament’s acceptance of the Constitutional Review Committee report – which recommends that the South African Constitution be amended to make expropriation without compensation possible – the civil rights organisation AfriForum indicated that this is not the end of the battle and that AfriForum’s fight against the acceptance of the report will be continued in the courts at full steam.

The ruling of the Cape Town High Court on Friday 30 November 2018, that AfriForum’s application against the report is not urgent, only dealt with the first part of AfriForum’s application and not the merits of the case itself. The second part of AfriForum’s application that is already in court and that deals with the merits of the case therefore still stands and will continue.

Part two of AfriForum’s case deals with, among other things, the lacking process that the parliamentary committee followed by ignoring written objections to expropriation without compensation.

According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, his organisation is determined to help see to it that South Africa does not destroy property rights by means of expropriation without compensation and to help prevent South Africa from taking the same destructive path that Zimbabwe and Venezuela took. The fact that Zimbabwe today has an unemployment rate of 90%, is according to Kriel a determining factor that everyone in a country, and not only land owners, are seriously harmed should property rights be violated. “AfriForum therefore undertakes to use every possible mechanism at its disposal to, in the interest of everyone in the country, fight to the bitter end against the undermining of property rights,” adds Kriel.

Kriel points out that the South African Constitution, and the protection of property rights contained therein, is the result of a negotiated settlement that was reached in 1994 between various parties with the ANC and the then NP government as leading role players. “Should the ANC-ruled Parliament now continue to amend the Constitution to make expropriation without compensation possible, it will be a clear indication that the ANC is in blatant breach of the 1994 agreement. This will cause a serious trust crisis between minorities and the ANC government,” Kriel says.

According to Kriel AfriForum will, in addition to the battle continuing locally in South African courts and on other platforms, also continue to increase its efforts to help generate international pressure for the protection of property rights in South Africa. “In fact, AfriForum raised the matter last week during the organisation’s participation in the United Nations’ Forum on Minority Issues in Genève, Switzerland,” Kriel concludes.


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