OPINION

Section 25 of 22 year old constitution must be changed – EFF

Fighters say land distribution must be done without compensation if it truly acknowledges the injustices of the past

EFF marks 22nd anniversary of South Africa's democratic Constitution

8 May 2018

The EFF marks the 22nd Anniversary of the democratic and post-apartheid Constitution. On this day, 8 May in 1996, Parliament (acting as the Constitutional Assembly) adopted the draft constitution with an 86% majority. The adoption of this constitution was a historic milestone in the struggle against white minority, anti-black and apartheid rule. It is the day in which the blood of so many who lost their lives fighting for human freedom had finally served as an eternal ink that rewrote the destiny of South Africans, in particular, black people. 

In memory of all who fell at the multiple swords of racial hatred in the black liberation struggle, the constitution vowed to “heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; lay the foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law”. 

In marking this anniversary, the EFF reiterates its call for Section 25 of the Constitution to be amended to allow the expropriation of land without compensation for equal redistribution. There will never be a successful realization of this important objective of healing the divisions of the past, until the land is redistributed to give true expression to the idea that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.  

The colonial and apartheid pasts are essentially where millions of generations of black peoples since 1652 were violently dispossessed of their land and thus their legitimate claims to belong. The colonial and apartheid swords of racial hatred wrote and founded the oppression of black people on land dispossession. 

The wounds caused by these swords of racial hatred have persisted like a long and cold shadow. These wounds will never be genuinely healed, until black people, who are the majority, are given back the land. Refusal to heal these wounds understood in terms of land dispossession makes the constitution a dead scroll whose only value belongs in a museum of history. 

This important process of land distribution must be done without compensation if it truly acknowledges the injustices of the past. If colonialism and apartheid are accepted as bitter crimes against the humanity of black people, to attain justice without the land is to insist that blacks must exist in permanent injury as the eternally wounded. 

Through the constitution and the rule of law, we can deny the future any violence in the name of the colonial and apartheid caused wounds of land dispossession. The constitution must be amended and this must be done within the dates as adopted by the National Assembly on 27 February 2018 so the land can be legally distributed in accordance with the rule of law. Thus, we vow to ensure that this amendment is attained by this year in August.

Issued by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Spokesperson, Economic Freedom Fighters, 8 May 2018