Careful with 1913 Act anniversary
With the anniversary of the Native Land Act which was enacted on June 19, 1913 it is necessary to put certain matters in perspective. For the purpose of a political policy it was an attempt to allocate land for people or tribes. Whether that policy was right or wrong is another debate. History cannot be assessed with today's facts.
In fact, that law stated that whites were not allowed to own certain land in certain areas. The Act did not give anyone the right to simply take another's land without compensation. The government at the time could also not just confiscate land from any person or group without offering other land in return. This fact was recently fully documented with the documentary evidence in prof. Louis Changuion's book, Disputed Land .
Current proposed legislation is in sharp contrast to the 1913 Act.
It is now openly demanded that whites have to give up their land. Elements from the governing party demand that land should be abandoned by whites without compensation. According to the Green Paper on Land Reform ways and means are put in place to respond to those demands.
When someone gets other land in exchange for their property, or if someone is compensated for land, it does not constitute theft. However, to expropriate land without compensation, or even at half of market value, amounts to blatant theft.
TAU SA wishes to go on record once again: no land was stolen by any current commercial farmer. History can not simply be undone. If there is a real need for land, the State must make take the lead by making its millions of hectares of unused land available for those who say they need land..
TAU SA calls on the government not to use the 1913 Act's anniversary to create an even more explosive situation. This year already 26 people have been murdered on farms. Statements or even insinuations that whites stole the land could result in more farm attacks. At all costs a Zimbabwe situation must be prevented where land will be simply occupied.
If the government has a problem with the 1913 law, they should take this up with Britain , who was at that point in time the colonial power.Government should not allow to involve commercial farmers in this battle. The farmers only want to live in peace and go on with their contribution to ensure food security for the country. While economic conditions are weak, labor relations are troubled, particularly in the mining industry, and while the country's credit and investor confidence are downgraded, the government should not use a century-old law to damage the country's economy any further.
Statement issued by TAU SA, June 18 2013
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