EFF MPs, AfriForum clash over land expropriation during public hearing

The ad hoc committee held a second day of virtual public hearings to get further oral submissions on the proposed amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution.

FILE: A screengrab of MPs resuming public hearings on whether to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament have clashed with religious and civil society organisations opposed to land expropriation without compensation.

The ad hoc committee held a second day of virtual public hearings to get further oral submissions on the proposed amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution.

The committee received submissions from the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference and lobby group AfriForum.

READ: Land expropriation without compensation more like land confiscation, MPs told

It’s been another tense day between those making submissions and members of the ad hoc committee.

For the past two days, Parliament has been hearing from individuals and organisations who had indicated in their written submissions that they wished to make further oral presentations.

One of these was Ernst Roets of AfriForum, who came under attack from African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs for opposing the bill, with some members calling him racist.

Roets told MPs that the land would be held by the state and not the people.

“If the point is to give people the land to transfer private property then that is something that we can support. But if the point is for the state to own the land, in other words, for the people to not own the land, then that’s something that has to be opposed,” said Roets.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi hit back at Roets, accusing him of delegitimising Parliament.

“Why talk to us if we are illegitimate. These people are wrong, and I’m saying that they are saying that because they are racists as an organisation. Roets is racist!"

Mike Pothier of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has also been criticised for saying that the church neither supported nor opposed a constitutional amendment.

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