NEWS & ANALYSIS

AfriForum application to stall land debate dismissed – Parliament

This means National Assembly and National Council of Provinces plenary sittings can proceed

AfriForum urgent application to stall parliament's land debate dismissed

30 November 2018

A full bench of the Western Cape High Court this morning dismissed AfriForum’s bid to stall Parliament’s consideration of the report from its joint Constitutional Review Committee on amending section 25 of the Constitution.

This means the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces plenary sittings on Tuesday can proceed with their scheduled consideration of the report.

The committee has recommended that section 25 of the Constitution be amended to make it explicitly clear that expropriation of land without compensation by the state in the public interest should be one mechanism to address the injustices of the past, inflicted on the majority of South Africans. The committee adopted this report on Thursday, 15 November.

As Parliament consistently stressed, AfriForum’s application was ill-advised, abusive to the court processes, premature and intended to gag both Parliament and thousands of South Africans who expressed their views through the public participation process.

The order of the Court is an affirmation of the constitutional right and powers of Parliament to independently determine and conduct its business, without undue interference.

It is also an affirmation of the correctness of Parliament's public participation process and the appropriateness of the manner in which the Joint Constitutional Review Committee dealt with AfriForum's computer-generated submissions, which were abusive to the public participation process.

The process, which the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces instructed the committee to undertake, was not a referendum and, therefore, the quality and diversity of views submitted, not the numbers, was important.

Issued by Moloto Mothapo on behalf of Parliament of Republic of South Africa, 30 November 2018