President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the ANC had decided to change the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation could lead to constitutional challenges as it appears to pre-empt the ongoing public participation processes on the matter, a legal expert said on Thursday. Ramaphosa made the announcement on national television on Tuesday. Parliament’s constitutional review committee is still holding public hearings across the country on the matter, and is due to report back in September. According to Peter Leon, a partner at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, Ramaphosa’s announcement may conflict with the Constitution’s requirement for meaningful public participation. "It appears to conflict with the constitutional requirement that a bill amending the Constitution can be adopted only if there is a meaningful process of public participation. By presenting the ANC’s decision as a fait accompli, the governing party is impermissibly pre-empting this process...

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