Talking Point 11.8.2016 02:34 pm

Who came first? Khoisan? Mpofu says no

FILE PICTURE: Advocate Dali Mpofu. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

FILE PICTURE: Advocate Dali Mpofu. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The debate about who is the ‘legitimate’ owner of the land in SA continues to rage, as it has for decade after decade.

Nando’s once caused a stir when it made an ad that depicted the Khoisan as the only “legitimate” owners of the South African land. The ad featured a voiceover of a man explaining the cause of “what’s wrong with South Africa”. He said the problem was “all you foreigners”.

“You must all go to where you came from,” said the man, who went on to say Swazis should to return to Swaziland, Kenyans to Kenya, the Basotho to Lesotho, the Congolese to Congo, the Afrikaners to the Netherlands and so on. The SABC, however, refused to air the advert.

The ever-present debate about who is the “legitimate” owner of the land is back now as the EFF plans to redistribute the land “equitably” among all South Africans should they come to power.

Now the party’s national chairperson, Dali Mpofu, is also debating the land question. One Twitter user, @marcelvanzy, told him: “Dali, you’re as much a migrant in SA as I am. Only difference is the mode of transport our ancestors arrived with.” Mpofu responded, saying: “Even in that myopic logic the place of original “departure” AND the “arrival” date should tell you something…Yes?”

Guardiste Noir ‏@aprivilegefest, asked: “My question to our friend, the advocate, @AdvDali_Mpofu is this: isn’t your party putting the cart before the horse?”

“But sir… both your cart and your horse are standing on our land!” Mpofu responded.

Jamangile ‏@Jamangile1 said: “This notion of stripping the San of their African and Black identity by some who are neither black nor African..SMH”.

“That logic is like you refusing to return a car you stole from me on the basis that I also got it from the dealer,” retorted Mpofu, also adding that “ALL AFRIKA belongs to ALL AFRICANS…Bayahlanya laba! [They are crazy]”.

According to SA History Online, the 1913 Natives Land Act was passed to allocate only about 7% of arable land to Africans, of which Khoisans were a part, and “leave the more fertile land for whites”. This was later increased to 13%.

“The law created reserves for blacks and prohibited the sale of territory in white areas to blacks and vice versa.”

The EFF now wants to “expropriate the land without compensation” once it takes power. This very point may prove to be the major point of contention between it and the DA during ongoing coalition talks, though both sides have conceded that the issue is not so much a municipal one as a national government one.

The EFF also wants to nationalise banks and mines, among other strategic sectors of the economy.

“Once the state is in control and custodianship of all land, those who are currently using the land or intend using land in the immediate will apply for land-use licences, which should be granted only when there is a purpose for the land being applied for. Those applying for licences will be granted licences for a maximum of 25 years, renewable on the basis that the land is being used as planned. The state should, within this context, hold the right to withdraw the licence and reallocate the land for public purposes,” the party explains on its website.