The Democratic Alliance (DA) has petitioned President Jacob Zuma to refer the Expropriation Bill back to parliament because the party had been advised by its lawyers that the draft law is unconstitutional.
DA MP Anchen Dreyer said the bill violated sections 25 and 26 of the Constitution, which respectively dealt with the right to property and the right not to be evicted without a court order.
“This needs to be rectified by parliament. Indeed, the president cannot in good conscience assent to it, until it has been brought in line with our Constitution,” she said.
Dreyer said in addition the DA believed that there were procedural irregularities in the manner in which the bill was passed last month and it should be sent back to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to “fix these errors”.
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“Specifically, this bill needs to be subject to more public participation. Moreover, the errors in adhering to the requirements in the mandating and voting procedures in the provincial legislatures and the NCOP need to be addressed – as demanded by the Constitution.”
She added: “If the President is at all serious about the Constitution in general, and property rights in particular, he will not sign the bill.”
The bill, which has been in the pipeline since 2008, seeks to address racial inequities in land ownership. It will enable the State to acquire land in the “public interest” at prices set by a government adjudicator and will see the end of the willing seller, willing buyer model of land reform.
– African News Agency (ANA)