Whites in South Africa face uncompensated land seizure, as recently amended by law—a move drawing comparisons to early Zimbabwe, and putting the fate of South Africa’s white population in question.
The South African Parliament recently passed a motion to amend laws so that land could be taken from white farmers without compensation, although a committee will review the decision and is expected to report back by Aug. 30, The Independent reported.
Quartz reported that the vote to amend the constitution passed on Feb. 27. The move to legally allow expropriation of white-owned land in South Africa comes as Zimbabwe that made a similar decision, is now working to compensate white farmers for lands that were seized 18 years ago. The events coincide with the fall of Zimbabwe’s former Prime Minister Robert Mugabe.
The idea in South Africa was pushed forward by the radical left-wing political party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and accepted by the parliamentary majority African National Congress (ANC). South Africa’s newly elected president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said the land reforms would end racial disparities in land ownership “once and for all,” according to The Independent.
“We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land,” said South Africa’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa, via The Independent.
The opposition party in South Africa’s Parliament, the Democratic Alliance, does not support the amendment and said the decision will “undermine property rights and scare off potential investors,” according to The Independent.
In Zimbabwe, this kind of policy caused steady economic decline, deindustrialization, a loss of export revenue from agriculture, an unemployment rate that reached 90 percent. The policies caused an estimated $20 billion in economic loss, according to Quartz.
The Quartz article, written by South African economists, infers that when landowners have their property taken and are not paid for it, all of society ends up paying for it in some way.
An online petition calling for President Trump to save white South Africans from genocide by letting them into the United States currently has over 18,000 signatures. Another petition asks European leaders Jean-Claude Juncker, Theresa May, Angela Merkel, and Mark Rutte to let them come to Europe. That petition has over 21,000 signatures.
“The white South African population currently faces ethnic cleansing and persecutions at the hands of the ANC government, the EFF, and various groups that seek their liquidation and to appropriate their property. Thousands of white farmers have been brutally murdered, often including torture and rape and mutilation. Many white South Africans today live in poverty and squalor as a consequence of the ANC government’s Black Economic Empowerment policy, which shuts whites out of the labor pool,” reads the petition for European leaders.
South Africa’s Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu has already spoken out in opposition to the government’s decision. Fearing Zulu lands could be among those taken and redistributed by the government, he has pledged to have Zulu warriors defend it, according to Journal du Cameroun.