Last week South African President Jacob Zuma called for the expropriation of land owned by whites via a change in the constitution, making the call while speaking to parliament. He asked for unity between the black parties to reach the two thirds majority needed to carry the constitutional change.
According to the Telegraph, Zuma wants a “pre-colonial land audit of land use and occupation patterns” before the new law is passed.
Zuma was later quoted in the Daily Mail saying:
“Once the audit is completed, one law should be written so that we can handle land restitution without compensation. The necessary constitutional changes will be made. The black parties should unite on this issue.”
Zuma belongs to the governing African National Congress (ANC), reeling after losing control of major cities Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth in elections last August to the modern, multi-racial, and pluralistic Democratic Alliance.
President Zuma has also been embroiled in scandal after scandal after coming to power in 2009.
Watch as I explain the political situation and why racial tensions reached a high point in South Africa as of last week.
I don’t think we will see any conflict just yet and hopefully never.
All of this is eerily similar to what was happening in Zimbabwe about 15 years ago when President Robert Mugabe began his government’s form of land reform which saw thousands of white farmers flee their farms as the land was taken from them.
South Africa is a place close to my heart. I’ve spent significant time there over the years and I truly believe that the country can be a great example of pluralism on a continent known for constant conflict.
It will always be a majority black nation and minority rule will never return but the one party stranglehold on government the ANC has held, could end.
There is reason to be hopeful with the rising popularity of the multi-racial, classically liberal Democratic Alliance party.