President Cyril Ramaphosa has been adamant that the ANC does not support the nationalisation of land advocated for by the EFF, but explosive court papers have laid bare how the government has actively pushed for state land ownership for almost a decade. In response to a court application by Limpopo farmer David Rakgase, who is fighting to force the state to sell him the land he says it promised him in 2002, the department of land reform & rural development has confirmed that “from 2011, state land purchase and leasing has come to constitute the entirety of land redistribution”. Acting director-general of the department Rendani Sadiki further states in papers filed at the high court in Pretoria that “grant-based purchase” of land by black farmers was discontinued eight years ago. Instead, she says, the government’s 2013 state land lease and disposal policy establishes “a principle that black farming households and communities may obtain 30-year leases, renewable for a further 20 y...

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