‘Why don't you want your own people to own their land?’ - Government slammed at land hearings
The queen of the Mzilikazi tribe has reaffirmed the royal family's position on land expropriation‚ saying the constitution must be amended so the land can be returned to its "rightful owners".
Queen Cynthia Khumalo-Mzilikazi shared her family's views in front of parliament's constitutional review committee at a public hearing in Sedibeng on Friday.
The hearings focus on whether Section 25 of the Constitution - which deals with property rights - should be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
"When the land was taken from us‚ there was no vote. We as the royal family are saying land must be returned to the rightful owners and nobody must be compensated for it‚" she said.
"They cannot tell us that if they give us the land back that we cannot support ourselves... We are not negotiating for this land. When we came from exile‚ I came back thinking the land is coming back to us. Democracy for what?"
Her views were shared by other members of the public.
Xoli Khumalo said the land was stolen from black citizens.
Our land was never taken from us as blacks but it was stolen from us.
"Our land was never taken from us as blacks but it was stolen from us. We want that land to come back to the blacks because that land rightfully belongs to us. We are tired of being shopkeepers and garage attendants. We want to be owners‚" she said.
Third-generation farmer Mike Shapiro‚ who received loud applause from the crowd‚ slammed government for their "lack of political will" in addressing the land issue.
"For three years I've been trying to set up a meeting with government to see how we can get people involved in the farm‚ to teach them the skills to take over. This is because of a lack of political will. The fault is political‚ not anything else‚" he said.
"Parliament is making the majority of the country look like idiots. People must get title deeds. Why don't you want your own people to own their land?"
The last leg of public hearings in Gauteng will commence in Pretoria on Saturday.