Parliament, Saturday, 29 February 2020 – The Free State delegation of the Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution continued with its public hearings in the province today in Bethlehem’s Bohlokong New Hall.
The aim of the hearings is to facilitate public participation on how Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
The majority of the participants during the hearings called for the expeditious finalisation of the constitutional amendment. Some of the participants told the delegation that it is time for economic freedom, and that freedom according to them, comes with land, as the majority of South Africans received only political freedom in 1994.
The King of the Korana, a Khoisan community in Free State, acknowledged the wars of resistance of the Korana and Basuto that were fought under King Moshoeshoe. The Korana group which participated in the hearings said the land which is held in trusts should not be included in this process as their leadership will share it with those under their area of jurisdiction.
Some of the participants expressed a view that the amendments should include a cap on the size of land an individual should be allowed to own.
King Letsitsa III of the Bakhlolokoe reinforced the message of the King of the Korana and emphasised the spiritual and developmental role of institution of African royalty.
Ms Maria Malinga, a traditional healer who played a prominent role in the cleansing of the infamous Vlakplaas where the freedom fighters were tortured and killed by the apartheid police, lamented the government’s neglect of ritual services for the late freedom fighters and sacred sites. She pleaded for special protection of those sites.
Although today was the deadline for written submissions into the Bill, Dr Mathole Motshekga who is the Chairperson of the committee, said the door is still wide open for the public to attend the public hearings. “South Africans, from all walks of life, all races, cultures and religions, we call on you to make your voices heard at the public hearings. This is not about black and white but a South African issue. This is your opportunity to indicate how you would like to see the future South Africa. The resolution of the land question will help to build a socio-cohesive and prosperous South Africa,” reiterated Dr Motshekga.
Dr Motshekga said the committee commended the crowd that attended the hearings in Bethlehem for its exemplary conduct and its quality contributions to the hearings. “We had a fruitful engagement. The participants gave us food for thought. We will consider all the inputs made by the public as we deliberate on this crucial and sensitive matter,” added Dr Motshekga.
The hearings for the province will conclude tomorrow, Sunday, 1 March 2020, in Bloemfontein.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE AD HOC COMMITTEE TO INITIATE AND INTRODUCE LEGISLATION AMENDING SECTION 25 OF THE CONSTITUTION, DR MATHOLE MOTSHEKGA
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Rajaa Azzakani (Ms)
Tel: 021 403 8437
Cell: 081 703 9542
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