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The FW de Klerk Foundation writes regular articles on topical issues, supports language and cultural rights and participates in the national debate on racial and cultural issues. The Foundation also promotes communication by holding conferences and workshops.

image 20160913 4948 um4tr9In a 30-page leaked document on land and the national question, titled What Then About Land Expropriation Without Compensation, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) elucidates both historic context but crucially an analysis of a resolution of the ANC’s 54th National Conference in December 2017 on “land expropriation without compensation”. Without going into the settings of the document about the “glorious National Democratic Revolution” and its “victory of 1994”, the document presents some important perspectives about debates inside the ANC, especially about non-racialism and expropriation of land without compensation (EWC).

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The decision of the Land Claims Court last week whereby Akkerland Boerdery once again took ownership of the two farms it originally consisted of, almost went unnoticed. The ministerial notice of expropriation of 29 March - which gave the owners seven days to vacate and leave the farms - was overturned with costs. Apparently the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (the infamous Maite Nkoana-Mashabane) admitted her Department made a mistake in issuing the notice of expropriation.

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Your Royal Highnesses, Fellow Nobel Peace Laureates, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen… 

One of the inescapable implications of globalisation is an enormous increase in the interaction between people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages and religions.  The management of the resulting cultural, language and religious diversity will be one of this century’s greatest challenges.

Throughout the world populations are becoming more cosmopolitan: the world’s 200 countries now include more than 6 000 different cultural communities.  More than 130 countries have cultural minorities comprising more than 10% of their populations. 

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It might be easy to laugh off the comments about State capture in a lecture by former President Jacob Zuma in the Eastern Cape on 12 September as ludicrous, funny and weird - the rantings of a wounded former President. To say that the present crisis is a “politically-decorated expression of state capture” and there is no such thing as “State capture” while the work of the Zondo Commission (into State capture!) - and which he himself appointed - is underway, is nonsensical. At its best, it is a theoretical lesson in semantics, totally devoid of any realism. But that should not worry us. What is Zuma really up to - at worst?

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The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) recently published its 2017/18 Equality Report (the Report), which was submitted to Parliament. This has probably not attracted much attention, due to processes around expropriation without compensation (EWC), the Zondo State Capture Commission of Inquiry and other current news. One exception was the Solidarity Movement. They announced that the Report means that the country's affirmative action legislation is unlawful and does not comply with international requirements. Solidarity is to approach the Courts for a declaratory order to clarify how employers and the Department of Labour should handle the situation until the law (as proposed by the SAHRC) is amended.

Marinus Wiechers

The FW de Klerk Foundation with sadness observes the passing of Professor Marinus Wiechers, a member of the advisory panel of the Foundation’s Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR). However, we also rejoice in the life and significant achievements of Marinus Wiechers.

Professor Wiechers was one of South Africa’s first and foremost legal constitutional experts. He played a significant role in the drafting of both the Namibian and the South African constitutions.  He was a consummate academic, with numerous research outputs and books of international quality. As Vice-Chancellor of UNISA, he played an important role in leading the largest South African university into a new era.  


The last week’s developments on the land and expropriation without compensation (EWC) debate were, to say the least, interesting. Firstly, there was the “toenadering” between the ANC and South African agriculture (Agri SA and Agbiz), and then we heard President Ramaphosa answer questions in Parliament on the subject. In comparison to last week, some farmers and business people are breathing much easier today. From “we will give our people the land back that was stolen from them, without compensation to the thieves” a mere few months ago, to “we will never expropriate productive agricultural land” last week, is quite a jump.  One does imagine that the EFF and the Zumaites in the ANC are slightly worried about this change in message. Was this a turn-around on land and EWC, or merely a spin-around?

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The FW de Klerk Foundation would like to congratulate Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on his 90th birthday today. He is one of the longest-serving members of Parliament and is one of the most consistent politicians our country has had in the last 40 years. His commitment to his people, his party and South Africa is well-known. Former President De Klerk has specifically thanked Prince Buthelezi and expressed his highest appreciation for the constructive relationship they have always had. This, even during the most trying of times during the transition to democracy more than 20 years ago. The Foundation wishes Prince Buthelezi health and happiness for the coming years.

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
27 August 2018

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