Civil rights organisation AfriForum takes note with appreciation of a motion recently adopted by the parliament of the Netherlands in which the Dutch government is asked to take a stand against the South African government’s intended process of expropriation without compensation. AfriForum also welcomes the fact that the motion clearly states that race-based expropriation without compensation is contrary to human rights and provisions of, inter alia, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human Rights.
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for international liaison, Afriforum embarked on a campaign to raise awareness amongst senior politicians and officials in amongst others, Europe, the UK, USA and in UN structures about concerns re the protection of property rights immediately after the ANC’s decision in 2017 to start a process of expropriation without compensation. The Dutch parliamentarian responsible for the motion, Martijn van Helvert, is one of the opinion makers that have since been provided regularly with the latest information in this regard.
Bailey said that the motion is but the latest example of increasing foreign opposition to the South African government’s attempts to legalize and implement a process of expropriation without compensation. For example, in 2018, it emerged that the Netherlands and four of South Africa’s other major trading partners (the US, UK, Germany and Switzerland) had sent a memorandum to the South African president, also raising their concerns over policy uncertainty regarding property rights.
She stated that it is interesting that the motion was accepted in the same week during which evidence has been heard against Bruce Koloane, the current South African ambassador to the Netherlands, in the investigation into South African state capture. In 2017, the #GuptaLeaks investigation team claimed that Koloane had abused his position as ambassador to negotiate business deals for the Gupta family. Despite this, no investigation has apparently been undertaken by the government in this regard and Koloane still serves in this key position, a fact which surely can do little to instil Dutch confidence in the South African government.
Bailey emphasizes the essential role that civil rights organisations such as AfriForum should play in bringing corruption and self-destructive policies (such as a process of expropriation without compensation) to the attention of foreign political and trade partners.
“The economic well-being and stability of South Africa not only affects all residents of the country, but also foreign investors and business partners. It does not help to wait until human rights abuses have occurred. Timely action must be taken to prevent it, especially when a country is already in an economic crisis, as is the case with South Africa,” Bailey adds.