Black First Land First (BLF) welcomes the call by the Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, for a referendum on land return without paying for it. BLF furthermore agrees with Zikalala’s reasoning that, “[t]he land question is so important such that it cannot be left to members of parliament alone”.
The National Assembly has proven itself to be incapable of addressing the land question. On 27 February 2017 Members of Parliament (MPs) behaved in a dishonorable manner on the land question, choosing to play political games instead of showing leadership and maturity. President Jacob Zuma has given direction on the land issue. When he returned the Expropriation Bill to the National Assembly, he gave a clear directive that the Bill be guided by the principle of “land expropriation without compensation” and to this end, be improved upon.
The ANC caucus chose to enter into political one-upmanship, calculated to undermine President Zuma. Jackson Mthembu and his cohorts believe it is better to undermine the land return program so as to spite President Zuma. For them land is secondary.
Similarly the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have no moral authority to speak about land return, since in reality, they are politically in bed in the metros with the same land thieves. The proposed motion by the EFF was accordingly a mere political ploy and not a principled commitment to land expropriation without compensation. If it was a real commitment then a direct approach by the EFF to the President for his response on the question would have been sought, instead of leaving that decision to the President’s political enemies inside the ANC. Even a child would have foreseen what the response of Mthembu and his gang would be when President Zuma calls for a radical land programme.
Parliament must now permit itself the honour of listening to what the millions of the landless of our country say. The only real path now open to our people is direct participation in the referendum itself.
BLF has already started with a petition for 1 million signatures asking the question: Should Blacks Buy Back Their Stolen Land? The preliminary trend show a response that is an overwhelming NO! A referendum will put the matter to rest and once the people have spoken, no one should dare go against their voice.
BLF calls on President Zuma to use the powers he has according to the Constitution to call for a Referendum on Land. We can’t wait much longer for land to be returned. A National Referendum is one of the most appropriate instruments available in the hands of the President. It shall allow for a national expression of people’s voices, thereby strengthening their participation in the life of the nation.
We urge President Zuma to now call for a Referendum so that land can be returned to its rightful owners.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT.
3 March 2017
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(Deputy National Spokesperson)
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