Speaking to a gathering of pensioners in the KwaZulu-Natal township of KwaMashu on Saturday, former president Jacob Zuma said people must not “resist” if their land is targeted for expropriation, Sunday Sun reports.
He added that the process of expropriation should take place without violence.
“We cannot start another war … Blood should not be spilled during the process of land expropriation,” he told the crowd.
The former president said that the primary reason for needing to change section 25 of the constitution was that it only allowed for people to claim land taken after 1913.
“What about the land that was taken in the 1600s?” he asked.
Since his removal as president, Zuma has been vocal on the land issue.
At at an address at the Walter Sisulu University students in the Eastern Cape in September, he said black South Africans needed to do more to get back the land.
“The reason why we, the blacks, are poor is because of the land that was taken from us. We have got to argue for the land properly. Not like how we are arguing about it,” he said.
During the same speech, Zuma also expressed his belief that mines, banks and monopoly industries should be nationalised, in an indication that his views had shifted to the left since his departure as president. Nationalisation was not on the agenda during his presidency.
The shift towards his adoption of land expropriation without compensation, however, occurred while he was still in power.
Zuma endorsed the policy leading up to the ANC’s 54th national conference last December that culminated in the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president and his party subsequently removing him as state president.
During Zuma’s presidency the Expropriation Bill was passed by parliament in 2016. It was returned by the former president in 2017, with Zuma saying he had concerns arising from the public participation process followed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
The bill was withdrawn in August by the Joint Constitutional Review Committee, due to the parliamentary process of reviewing section 25 of the constitution that was underway at the time.
This process led to committee adopting a draft report which recommends the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation last week.
The recommendation was put forward by the EFF and voted for by the ANC and NFP, allowing it to pass with 12 votes to four.
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