The urgent court application by lobby group AfriForum to halt the parliamentary process related to a possible amendment to the constitution to facilitate land expropriation without compensation is an attempt to gag the institution and should be struck off the roll or dismissed, both with punitive costs. This is the argument made in an answering affidavit to AfriForum’s application by the co-chair of the joint constitutional review committee, Lewis Nzimande, on behalf of parliament. His co-chair, Stan Maila, confirmed the affidavit. AfriForum has applied to the high court in Cape Town to restrain the committee’s report from being passed on to parliament as an interim measure pending a court action to have the committee’s adoption of the report declared unlawful. The committee recommended that section 25 of the constitution be amended to make it explicitly clear that expropriation of land without compensation by the state can take place in the public interest. Proper public participat...

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