Property rights court ruling: “Not the end, but beginning of battle,” says AfriForum

The High Court in Cape Towns’ ruling that AfriForum’s court application for the review of the report from the Parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee – which recommends that the Constitution be amended to make expropriation without compensation possible – is not urgent, is according to AfriForum not the end of the organisation’s battle in protecting property rights, but merely the beginning of a long and lengthy battle.

AfriForum’s legal team will continue, among other things, to battle in court against the defective process that the parliamentary committee followed by ignoring written objections against expropriation without compensation. What this court judgment simply means is that the case will not be heard on an urgent base.

According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, his organisation is determined to help see to it that South Africa does not destroy property right by means of expropriation without compensation and to help prevent South Africa from taking the same destructive path that Zimbabwe and Venezuela took. The fact that Zimbabwe today has an unemployment rate of 90%, is according to Kriel a determining factor that everyone in a country, and not only land owners, are seriously harmed should property rights be violated. “AfriForum therefore undertakes to use every possible mechanism at its disposal to, in the interest of everyone in the country, fight to the bitter end against the undermining of property rights,” adds Kriel.

Kriel points out that the South African Constitution, and the protection of property rights contained therein, is the result of a negotiated settlement that was reached in 1994 between various parties with the ANC and the then NP government as leading role players. “Should the ANC-ruled Parliament now continue to amend the Constitution to make expropriation without compensation possible, it will be a clear indication that the ANC is in blatant breach of the 1994 agreement. It will cause a serious trust crisis between minorities and the ANC government,” Kriel says.

According to Kriel AfriForum will, in addition to the battle continuing locally in South African courts and on other platforms, also continue to increase its efforts to help generate international pressure for the protection of property rights in South Africa. “In fact, AfriForum raised the matter yesterday during the organisation’s participation in the United Nations’ Forum on Minority Issues in Genève, Switzerland,” Kriel concludes.

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