The chair of parliament’s ad hoc committee redrafting the property clause of the constitution has rubbished suggestions that SA’s drive to address skewed land ownership echoes Zimbabwe’s land grabs of two decades ago.

The catastrophic land grabs in Zimbabwe resulted in an economic and social crisis from which it has struggled to recover. Under former president Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme in 2000 and 2001, thousands of white farmers were forced from their farms, often violently. However, earlier in the year, the Zimbabwean government said it will start paying compensation to many white farmers who lost land, as it ramps up efforts to mend ties with the West...

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