National 15.6.2017 05:15 am

PAC says it’s ready for ‘war’ over farmland

PAC members. Picture:  (Photo by Gallo Images / Frank Trimbos)

PAC members. Picture: (Photo by Gallo Images / Frank Trimbos)

‘We have carried on from where King Bambatha left.’

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has vowed to fight to ensure that the land is restored to the African people.

This after political parties debated the land question in Parliament in which the Freedom Front Plus defended the land already in the hands of whites in the country.

Recently, the rural development department proposed that, as part of land restitution, each household be offered one hectare and two dairy cows, a move that was warmly received by some and rejected by others, including the PAC.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the move was a good approach to revitalising rural agricultural production.

“There ought to be further supporting measures, including monitoring,” Mathekga said.

“This is positive, if implemented well,” he said.

The PAC spokesperson, Kenneth Mokgatlhe, yesterday praised EFF MP and chief whip Floyd Shivambu for standing up in Parliament to articulate the cause of the millions of Africans who were dispossessed of their land.

“It was only Shivambu out of more than 300 parliamentarians [there are 400 in the National Assembly alone] who stood up for us and we are thankful for that. We are not scared of war because our people have suffered for more than 350 years. So what will we fear now?” Mokgatlhe said.

Mokgatlhe said if farmers continued to kill black people on their farms, there would be civil war in the country.

“We have carried on from where King Bambatha left, we have promised ourselves that we will take the land back no matter what it takes,” he said.

Mokgatlhe was referring to the 1906 Bambatha revolt by land peasants led by Chief Bambatha kaMancinza of the Zondi tribe in Zululand against British land taxation. A large number of Zulu impis and fewer British soldiers were killed in the war.

The land issue is still contentious in South Africa with the ANC government unable to address it since it was elected to power in 1994.

Its solution of willing seller, willing buyer was abandoned after it failed to resolve the issue when white farmers refused to sell their farms willingly to the state.

Currently, land expropriation is being proposed, but the issue has raised concern among commercial farmers who fear state-sponsored land grabs.

Less than 10 percent of land has been redistributed to the black majority since the promulgation of the Restitution of Land Rights Act of 1994.

In the last few years, government opened another window for land claimants to submit claims.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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