; Bitter debate as parly adopts motion to draft constitutional amendment – The Citizen

Bitter debate as parly adopts motion to draft constitutional amendment

Political parties in the National Assembly debate the report by the Constitutional Review Committee recommending that section 25 of the Constitution should be changed, 4 December 2018. Picture: Chantall Presence/ ANA

Political parties in the National Assembly debate the report by the Constitutional Review Committee recommending that section 25 of the Constitution should be changed, 4 December 2018. Picture: Chantall Presence/ ANA

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu’s motion did no more than to call for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to draft the amendment.

Tempers rose in parliament for a third day as MPs debated a motion by African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu for the legislature to ensure a constitutional amendment to allow land expropriation without compensation is adopted before the 2019 elections.

The motion was adopted with 183 votes in favour and 77 against. There were no abstentions.

Opposition parties had objected vehemently, with the Freedom Front Plus’s Anton Alberts reiterating the party’s threat that land expropriation would lead to instability.

“When the blood flows it will be on your hands,” Alberts said in the direction of the ANC benches.

The Congress of the People’s Deirdre Carter urged voters to go to the polls to “stop the ANC, stop the EFF, the only way you can do it”.

Themba Godi, from the African People’s Convention, backed the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters’ support for the motion and an amendment, saying those who opposed land reform were, in fact, supporting the oppression of African people.

“Land must be nationalised and socialised for the benefit of the people, especially the working class and women …. those who oppose want the perpetuation of wrongs of the past.”

Mthembu said he was surprised at the vehement debate because the National Assembly had already two days ago agreed with the recommendation of the constitutional review committee that an amendment must be brought to change section 25 to make express allowance for expropriation without compensation.

His motion did no more than to call for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to draft the amendment he said.

“Here is a mechanism and that mechanism is an ad hoc committee established in terms of the rules of this house, and nothing else.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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