OUT TO LUNCH
I am genuinely pleased and proud to find so many white people on Twitter advocating the handing back of land to those who claim it was stolen from them. Many, like Theresa Roussouw of Saldanha, are from good old Afrikaner stock which makes the gesture so much more poignant. Inspired by the generousity of spirit of these fine people I too have also resolved to hand back any land I may own to its rightful owners without any expectation of remuneration. It really is the right thing to do and it will help heal our country.
One snag I foresee is that there may be quite a few claimants for my land compared to the handful who may show a derisory interest in Ms Roussouw’s Saldanha patch. So how am I going to know who the rightful claimant is? After all, I don’t want to enter into a contract of reparation and assuage my post colonial guilt with some scoundrel who claims his great, great grandfather grazed his cattle in my back garden, only to find that this is a fraudulent claim and there are another 300 people laying claim to the same piece of land. No, the claimant for the land must bring solid proof of previous ownership such as a title deed or an etching by Thomas Baines of said great, great grandfather grazing cattle
Not all my neighbours are quite as “woke” as I am about the very important process which we need to go through to rid ourselves of the albatross of our “whiteness”. Some say that the land they occupy doesn’t really belong to them 100% but to the bank that lent them the money. How will this all pan out they wonder? Very simply, the EFF have already agreed that payment on any outstanding bonds on expropriated land will continue to be the responsibility of the registered bondholder. It would be quite inappropriate and unreasonable to expect a previously landless person to incur the monthly costs of owning a property. Which is why council rates will be waived and water and electricity will be plentiful and free. To do otherwise would impose the enormous burden of earning a living on the new occupants.
“But that’s not fair” the land thieves will no doubt cry. “How can we continue to pay for land which we no longer have the use of”? Well, your ancestors should have thought of that when they were setting up a “refreshment station” in the Cape all those years ago. As is well documented by my lefty friends on Black Consciousness Twitter, you were welcomed with open arms by a peaceful indigenous people whose hospitality you badly abused. Everything the white man needed was already here when he arrived in 1652(with the possible exception of a 24 hours Woollies) and his thank you was to steal it and claim it as his own.
There are those doubters among us who attempt to use scare tactics by claiming that the banking system will collapse if bonded property is just expropriated and the bond payments suddenly dry up. They claim that the bank regards this “stolen” property as security for loans on an epic scale. Well, maybe the banks (white owned obviously) will think twice before lending money to people to buy stolen property. And if the banking system does collapse then good riddance is the general sentiment. As Juju and the boys in the EFF have discovered, some banks don’t have quite such rigorous lending standards and it’s always a good plan to stay close to your bank manager. An easing of banking regulations in favour of key political figures is long overdue and what’s the point of a central bank if it can’t print more money when you run a bit short?
Now the only slight problem I envisage with the handing over of “stolen” land is what happens to what’s on it? So while I’m very happy to enter into the spirit of reconciliation by handing over any land I own I’m not so enthusiastic about handing over what’s built on it and the contents thereof. And I suspect this may be a stumbling block that the ANC either haven’t thought about or have preferred not to dwell on. This may well be because their mostly uneducated voters genuinely think that they will not only be getting the land but the five bedroom house on it, the contents of the drinks cabinet and the Merc and the Range Rover in the garage. Thus far, the ANC have done little to dissuade them so in the coming months I expect to see some practical application of this quaint theory of land transfer. It probably won’t go terribly well for either side.
Back in February I wrote a column for Politicsweb (The Allodoxaphobic and me) in which I mentioned some of the people who seemed so afraid of hearing my opinions that they blocked me on Twitter. One was Cyril’s white praise singer Peter Bruce and another was the publicity shy Phumzile Van Damme.
To their credit both unblocked me and whilst I follow neither of them on Twitter at least I now have access to their occasional flashes of brilliance as they do to mine. I am quite sure that events at the V&A Waterfront (imagined or real) and constant hounding on social media have been hugely stressful for Phumzile but that’s politics I’m afraid.
If you portray yourself as a fearless commentator on the human condition (as we columnists also do) you must be prepared for the horrendous torrent of abuse and misrepresentation that inevitably follows. What is sad is when a talented young politician like Van Damme shows her vulnerability and resorts to a public slanging match with Helen Zille on Twitter. Maybe she needs some expert tuition on how to handle life’s little upsets in which case I suggest she contact Boris Johnson before 22 July. After that he may be busy with other matters.
If you enjoy David Bullard's weekly column please consider becoming a Politicsweb supporter here.