DA condemns the ANC’s parallel process on the Section 25 Amendment Bill 

Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Dr Annelie Lotriet MP.

In an unprecedented act of parliamentary process manipulation, the ANC has unilaterally decided to introduce a new clause in the Section 25 Amendment Bill that will see the land restitution cut-off date changed from the previous 1913 to January 1800.

This clause was essentially smuggled into the draft Bill by the ANC without the knowledge of other political parties represented in the Committee.

The excuse that this clause was introduced following input from the recently concluded public participation process is insincere and very misleading. One submission, which advocated for changing the cut-off date for land restitution, cannot be taken as a sufficient threshold to introduce this contentious clause.

The Chair of the Section 25 Ad-Hoc committee, Dr Mathole Motshekga, claims that the Management Committee was responsible for requesting an extension to the lifespan of the committee and the drafting of the latest version of the Bill. Even so, any process that sidelines the Committee is patently irregular and at variance with parliamentary rules.

In introducing this clause, the ANC thought it would:

  • extend a political bribe to the EFF in the vain hope that they would bite and lend their support to enable the ANC to obtain the two thirds majority needed to pass the Bill;
  • force Parliament’s hand in extending the committee’s lifespan beyond the 2 weeks that it was granted by the Programming Committee yesterday. If this new clause is not removed, it would require that a new public participation process be initiated.

It is clear that the ANC is now on a desperate salvage operation to try and maintain a legislative process over a Bill that is essentially dead in the water. The truth is, no amount of political somersaults will negate the undeniable fact that the Bill was bound to fail from the start. Gutting the Constitution to appease ANC factions and EFF political hedging on land, was never going to proffer solutions for a sustainable land reform programme.