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Ramaphosa reaffirms land reform plan at AB Xuma funeral

The struggle icon and former president of the ANC was reburied in Ngcobo 60 years after his death. Ramaphosa declared the reburial as a special official funeral.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at Dr AB Xuma's funeral in the Eastern Cape on 8 March 2020. Picture: Twitter/@PresidencyZA

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said government was going ahead with land redistribution without compensation.

Ramaphosa said amending section 25 of the Constitution was necessary to provide redress of past problems.

The president had been speaking at the funeral of Dr AB Xuma's funeral in the Eastern Cape on Sunday morning.

The struggle icon and former president of the ANC is being reburied in Ngcobo 60 years after his death.

Ramaphosa declared the reburial as a special official funeral.

Ramaphosa said Xuma was passionate about the ownership of land.

“It was under the leadership of Dr Alfred Bathini Xuma that the African National Congress adopted the African Claims’ document at its annual conference on the 16th of December 1943.

“This seminal document laid out the African people’s demands for full equality and citizenship rights.

“Most importantly, it prioritised the South African people’s right to land ownership.

“It made an unequivocal demand for a fair redistribution of the land, rightly describing the race-based system as unjust and contrary to the interests of South Africa.

“It rightly declared that the right to own, buy, hire or lease and occupy land individually or collectively, both in rural and in urban areas, was a fundamental right of citizenship.

“It is of great significance that our nation will soon see realised some of the social reforms that Dr AB Xuma championed for most of his life.

“For the first time in the history of our country, every South African man, woman and child will have equal access to health care when the National Health Insurance becomes reality.

“That we have reached this point is the culmination of a journey that was first embarked upon by Dr AB Xuma and the other pioneers of our liberation struggle.

“Also this year, the democratic government will be forging ahead with the process of land reform and redistribution, guided by the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

“In doing so, we are giving effect to the provisions of the African Claims’ document, the Freedom Charter and, above all, our Constitution.”

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