Friday, September 23, 2005

Land Expropriation in South Africa

I don't want to be negative, but is this perhaps the beginning of the end for white farmers in South Africa?

Now I want you to understand that this is not a racist comment. I hate racism and although South Africa is supposed to be a model country when it comes to dealing with the issue of racism, one thing is for sure: racism is alive and well in this country. It is even inscribed in our constitution. Well, not in so many words. Yet, that is the conclusion one has to come to when thinking carefully about the South African constitution!

In chapter 2, section 9, subsections 3-5 of the constitution the following can be found:

3. The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
4. No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.
5. Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair.

The fact that fair and unfair discrimination have not been clarified and are left open-ended is certainly cause for concern! Through the use of cleverly twisted legal words and phrases these two words can be made to mean almost anything! Add to that the changes one can observe in society, what is fair today may be unfair tomorrow! In the end good will be called "evil" and evil will be called "good!"

I have no problem in helping the previously disadvantaged in South Africa, but to take away from one person and giving it to another person sounds to me like that old romanticized crook, Robin Hood. Forcing someone to take a pittance as payment to redistribute to the poor is still stealing. Here in South Africa a farmer is going to be forced to accept R1.75m ($270,000) for his farm when he wanted R3m ($460,000). Nobody can tell me that a farm of 500ha is only worth R1.75m ($270,000)! This is laughable! We have all seen what has happened in Zimbabwe where that evil, despicable and corrupt government simply took farms away from whites and gave it to blacks. I have no problem with giving to blacks or to anyone else for that matter, but to take away from one group simply to give to another group is stealing.

How can we hope to find real reconciliation in this country when injustice is now perpetrated against whites instead of blacks? In my opinion, apartheid had simply been reversed. Pre-1994 apartheid was defined as whites committing injustices against blacks. Post-1994 it is defined as blacks committing injustices against whites. Is it on a wide scale as it was pre-1994? Not yet!

The expropriation of land is just a start. Currently it is mild when compared to Zimbabwe, and money is still being exchanged between the government and the farmers. However, how long will that continue?

Watch this space as the future unfolds!

Just thinking...

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