EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION
Land issue may be heading for long legal battle
If a legal challenge to land seizures succeeds it is unlikely amendments will make it through the current parliament
A legal battle may be looming over plans by the ANC to change the constitution to make it easier to expropriate land without paying for it, with widely divergent views over the process that needs to be followed. Land seizures could violate the founding provision in section 1 of the constitution, which guarantees human dignity, rights and freedoms, outlaws racism and ensures the supremacy of the rule of law, according to Robert Vivian, a professor of finance and insurance at the University of the Witwatersrand’s school of economic and business sciences. It can only be amended with the backing of 75% of legislators in the National Assembly, he said. "I can’t see an argument anyone could put up against this," Vivian said at a function hosted by the Free Market Foundation in Johannesburg on Wednesday. If that’s correct, it’s unlikely amendments will make it through the current parliament, where opposition parties that are against constitutional changes control more than a quarter of the...