Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF, in red) party members of parliament are physically removed from the South African parliament after repeatedly ignoring the instructions of the Speaker, on May 17, 2016, in Cape Town. A brutal fistfight broke out in the South African parliament on May 17 as security guards ejected opposition lawmakers in an ugly fracas that underlined heightened political tensions over Jacob Zuma's presidency. / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said those opposed to land expropriation without compensation were protecting white privilege at the expense of black people.

“This is in defence of white privilege which seeks to perpertuate landlessness among our people,” Malema told the chamber.

Malema went further, accusing those opposed to changing the status quo where white people, the minority in South Africa, owned the majority of land, of herd mentality.

“White people who came, all of them, poor or rich, the landless white people, all of them came in unison and opposed the expropriation of land without compensation because the reality is that where white interests and privilege is threatened, they protect one another and they don’t care when the other is in the wrong.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party, Freedom Front Plus and the Congress of the People (Cope) all said it would oppose the recommended amendment.

Freedom Front Plus MP Corne Mulder charged that the report was “not worth the paper it was written on”, citing amongst other objections, a lack of debate within the committee.

Cope’s Deirdre Carter insisted that in its current form, section 25 of the Constitution allowed for expropriation without compensation and carried an explicit mandate for land reform.

“Just and equitable compensation could very well mean very little or no compensation,” she said, in reference to the current wording of the clause.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe said his party was strongly opposed to land expropriation without compensation and called for the Constitutional Court to be asked to interpret “the full parameters of section 25”.

Meshoe added that expropriation without compensation would threaten food security, agricultural reform and investment.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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