COPE and AfriForum today delivered a joint memorandum to the USA Embassy in South Africa in which the USA is officially requested to put pressure on the South African government to protect the Constitution, property rights and the 1994 settlement. The memorandum was delivered today at a meeting between a senior representative of the USA Embassy and Mosiuoa Lekota, COPE leader, and Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum.
The meeting was held a few days after the parliamentary constitutional review committee recommended that the Constitution be amended to allow for expropriation without compensation. The discussion also stems from a decision by COPE and AfriForum to jointly approach embassies to mobilise international pressure against expropriation without compensation.
Kriel explains that the South African Constitution and the protection of property rights included therein are the result of a negotiated settlement reached between various parties in the early 1990s, of which the ANC and the then NP government were the main role-players. “Ramaphosa and the ANC’s decision to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation unfortunately shows that the ANC is unashamedly violating the 1994 settlement. Because pressure from the international community played a role in getting the different parties to enter into the 1994 settlement, the international community now has an obligation to help ensure that the ANC keeps to the agreement,” Kriel says.
COPE and AfriForum pointed out to the USA Embassy that the organisations do not wish for sanctions against South Africa that will hurt ordinary people, but rather that the USA will help prevent international investors from turning their backs on South Africa by warning the South African government timeously that the violation of property rights will be devastating to the South African economy.
Because the South African government and President Ramaphosa currently blows hot and cold – by trying to appease the international community, yet locally continuing its efforts unabatedly to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation – AfriForum and COPE provided the USA with facts in the memorandum that reflect the true state of affairs regarding the violation of property rights and farm murders. “We want to ensure the failure of President Ramaphosa’s attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of the international community,” Kriel adds.
COPE and AfriForum view their cooperation to protect property rights as a positive example of how citizens from different backgrounds can work well together based on mutual recognition and respect by focusing on matters of mutual interest. According to Kriel, the protection of property rights is something that should be of mutual interest to everyone in South Africa, especially since the 90% unemployment rate in Zimbabwe confirms that everyone but a small elite group suffers when the violation of property rights destroys a country’s economy.