THE ANC BIG LIE
It is common concern that Joseph Goebels the chief propagandist of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis used the BIG LIE to promote and justify their doctrine as the means of taking control of the state institutions that strengthen or promote democracy.
Goebels described the Big Lie as:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
In this context one must remember the ANC has the tendency to conflate the two “state” and ‘ANC” therefore the truth is the greatest enemy of the ANC.
The ANC big lie:
In a bid to build his image and unite the party behind his chosen successor as leader of the ANC Zuma’s ex wife Dr. Nkosana Dlamini Zuma the president has adopted the populist approach he is propagating the myth that Clause 25, the so called Property” clause is inhibiting land redistribution.
Speaking at the launch of Operation Phakisa on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in Pretoria on Friday 24 February 2017 President Zuma said “all the laws and policies that we are busy amending to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the Constitution.”
During a debate parliament on amending Clause 25 DA Member of Parliament Annelie Lotriet pointed out that “It is clear that it is not Section 25 that is standing in the way of land reform, it is, in fact, enabling it, even ordering it. What is standing in the way is the government’s implementation of what is provided in Section 25.”
Contrary to popular belief the property clause does not state anything about “willing-buyer, willing-seller”. This is often used as an excuse for the lack of land reform, but the Constitution does not specify this. Market value is only one of five factors that must be taken into consideration when determining just and equitable compensation.
The property clause allows for the court to determine the compensation and the only requirement is that it must be just and equitable – in line with the guiding principles of the Constitution.
The ANC government now seeks to use the Constitution as an excuse, presenting it as a barrier to effective land reform and thus deflecting the responsibility for their failures. Twenty-three (23) years into this democracy the land tenure rights of the rural poor are still not addressed.
During the same debate in parliament the Deputy Shadow Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform Thandeka Mbabama made the following five proposals to address land reform:
- Enact legislation securing the property rights of those who live on state land, state-owned land reform projects and former homelands. This would enable the poor to own their own property and not have their property controlled by Traditional Councils. This would allow 4.5 million people living on the 2.8 million hectares of land owned by the KwaZulu-Natal Ingonyama Trust;
- Communal land areas should be rezoned as municipalities so that our rural poor get the same service delivery and support as urban areas;
- Provide an on-going package of extension services financial support networks, technical and managerial assistance as well as invest in supportive infrastructure;
- Remove the vestiges of apartheid and colonial planning and the embedded semi-feudal systems it engendered in the former homelands;
- Make land reform an opportunity around which South African’s can unite rather than a source of anxiety – land reform can attract massive investments to those who were marginalised;
It is important to note that it is not Clause 25 of the Constitution that leaves the rural poor in former homelands, without title-deed on the land they have farmed for generations but rather the ANC are deliberately keeping them in poverty to lock them into voting for the ANC.
It was Thomas Walters MP who said “It is not Clause 25 of the Constitution that allowed Extension Services to emerging farmers to collapse; that is destroying the capacity of the Agricultural Research Council to support new entrants; that prevents suitable financing for farmers; that is ruining investment opportunities in agriculture; that mismanaged drought relief; that allows agricultural colleges to fail; that bungled land claims and who delay purchases of land for years through incompetence.”
Thus compensation remains a requirement for expropriation but not a prerequisite. Therefore it cannot be seen as the stumbling block, it is government mismanagement, corruption and inefficiency that is denying black people land in South Africa.
The second ANC big lie:
The ANC is the oldest political party in South Africa and has always had a culture as a non racial, non sexist movement that respects the Constitution and lives by the spirit of the Freedom Charter.
It is correct that the African National Congress (ANC) was formed in South Africa on January 18, 1912, and therefore is the oldest political party in the country. It was formed to protest impending legal restrictions on African land ownership. Before 1923, the African National Congress was known as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC).
For the first 30 years of its existence women were excluded from full membership of the ANC. In 1941, the ANC resolved to revive the Women’s Section and that women “be accorded the same status as men in the classification for membership”.
The ANC itself remained an exclusively African body in stages between 1969 and 1985 it opened its ranks to whites, Indians, and coloureds.
Although not permitted to join the party the ANC did rely on women and other minority groups to assist them in their activities.
It was only at the Morogoro Conference in 1969 that the ANC opened the membership of the party’s external wing to “minority groups, whites, coloureds and Indians”.
Only in the 1979 January 8 statement did the ANC extend its membership of “whites, coloureds and Indians” to the internal wing of the party and permitted them to serve on the ANC executive.
In a letter from the late ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada sent to Jacob Zuma requesting to resign dated 2 April 2016 he wrote “Even before the ANC opened its membership to non-Africans in the 1969 I was involved in the activities of the ANC”
In stark contrast from the formation of the Progressive Party, a predecessor party of the DA, in 1959 the PP was always a non sexist and non racial party. However, the Prohibition of Political Interference Act, 1968 (Act No. 51 of 1968) was adopted despite the Progressive Party’s sole MP Helen Suzman strongly opposing the act.
This resulted in non racial political parties being outlawed. The Progressive Party, encouraged by their non white supporters, reluctantly had to become a party for whites only. This was done on the clear understanding that when, in the future, the act was repealed all these members would automatically have their membership reinstated.
Many of these members retained close links with the party and its successor parties and did in fact have their membership reinstated in the PFP when the act was repealed in 1985.
More ANC big lies?
The ANC is laying the foundations for the propagation of more big lies. There is the fast developing narrative that all South Africa’s economic woes are as a result of white monopoly capital.
A new big lie that is gaining traction is the one being propagated by the State Security Minister David Mahlobo who alleges that there are NGOs and some South Africans working with “foreign forces” to destabilise the country.
The media, both formal and informal, is being targeted for the ANC’s loss of support and threats of a media tribunal or censoring social media are being bandied about
There are clear indications that the ANC has run out of ideas and is desperate to defend the current hegemony created by Jacob Zuma that they will use every devious means to interfere with the rights of individuals or organisations to operate freely and hold the government to account.
If this continues I can foresee many more cases in the Constitutional Court, no wonder Zuma is already trying to manipulate the choices of the Judicial Services Commission with his acolytes.
Interesting times await us.
Until next time,
This newsletter is published by Clive Hatch former Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature and former DA Provincial Leader. These views are my personal views and do not represent those of any other person or organisation.