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The right to expropriate property

Author: Terry Bell

In clear election mode, President Jacob Zuma has carried out an outflanking manoeuvre against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) by raising the prospect of land seizure. Speaking in Rustenburg, he referred to the “land that was stolen from us” and asked why stolen land should be paid for.
The EFF leadership has made the issue of land redistribution a major plank in their electoral programme leading up to the local government elections later this year.


However, Zuma also implied that the government had erred in its approach to the land issue.
He was referring to the “willing buyer, willing seller” principle that was adopted by the ANC government and was widely thought to be demanded by the constitution. However, as the late former chief justice, Arthur Chaskalson, pointed out in an interview: “There is no such provision in the constitution.”

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