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Zuma moots moving land claim cut-off to 1800s

Author: Jenni Evans

Should the 1913 cut off-date for land claims be changed to the 1800s? President Jacob Zuma raised the question as he opened the National House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town on Thursday. “The very law that we have today to claim is lopsided against the black people. It is very difficult to prove that the land belonged to the ancestors and very easy to say we can’t have the land. That’s how the law is.”

 

“Was the decision to make 1913 the cut-off date correct? Perhaps yes. But was the land taken in 1913? Most of the land was taken in the 1800s. Very little land was taken after 1913. This was when the colonialisation of South Africa was consolidated, he said.

 

He added later that he did not care if people called him names over his statements. Zuma said that the 1913 Native Land Act, which banned blacks from buying or renting land, was merely about white colonialists shoring up whatever fertile land they had not yet claimed for themselves. “I could forgive the period before [the 1800s]. It would be reasonable,” he said to murmurs of approval from the royalty and high chiefs assembled before him.

 

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