Legal battle against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans falls flat
A group fighting a legal battle against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans for white farmers land confiscation without compensation has been thrown out by a judge, reports say.
Ramaphosa, who succeeded scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma in February, delivered the land redistribution a flagship policy, which is now dubbed as “White genocide.”
Ramaphosa now endeavors to unite the fractured ruling African National Congress (ANC) and gain public backing before the election next year.
Afriforum challenged the legality of a key parliamentary committee statement, which advocated a change to the constitution to allow land confiscation without compensation.
“The relief sought by the applicants… is dismissed,” said Judge Vincent Saldanha.
Representing the mostly white Afrikaner, Afriforum testified that the parliamentary committee had illegally elected an outside service provider to arrange the report, failing to recognize more than 100,000 submissions fighting land expropriation without compensation
About 65 percent of public submissions challenged the change, parliamentary officials said.
Parliament countered Afriforum’s by claiming the court action was untimely, the committee had not repealed its powers, and all aspects had been taken into account.
“We welcome the orders handed down today particularly because we’ve always been of the view that the matter was not urgent,” Lewis Nzimande said outside the High Court in Cape Town.
‘They [lawmakers] may set aside the recommendations, they may reject the recommendations but procedurally… we can’t just reject the whole work of the committee,’ he said.
The report is part of a long process to amend the constitution, which may be discussed in both houses of parliament on December 4.
It is now expected that the new bill introducing the exact changes will reach parliament and further public participation.
This process is unlikely to be achieved before a parliamentary election.
Afriforum stated after the judgment they would continue disputing what they say is a flawed process, including through additional legal action.
‘AfriForum, therefore, undertakes to use every possible mechanism at its disposal to, in the interest of everyone in the country, fight to the bitter end against the undermining of property rights,’ it said in a statement.